The Lisa Maria Foundation has said that the sex offenders register is too cumbersome to be effective, insisting that all institutions employing people who have a duty of care towards children, are given easier access to the Sex Offenders Register.
The foundation insisted that the law must change to safeguard the interests of children and young people.
The Lisa Maria Foundation is a non-profit organisation that aims to safeguard and promote the welfare of young children and youths.
In a press statement published on Wednesday, the foundation argued that although the current register system was necessary to ensure that law abiding citizens are safeguarded from predators, “it is rather challenging to access, making it too onerous, costly and cumbersome for most stakeholders to utilse when carrying out due diligence before employment.”
The foundation explained that the Registrar of the Civil Court manages the sex offenders list. For an organisation or employer, to check whether a person’s name features on the register, they must therefore file an application before the First Hall of the Civil Court through their lawyer. The application is sent to the Attorney General who has to reply to the request. Subsequently, a judge decides whether permission should be granted to the Court Registrar to check the register for the names submitted and to inform the applicants of the outcome of the search.
“This length process is inefficient especially when the recruitment of professionals needs to be confirmed at short notice,” the foundation said.
It insisted that the protection of children and young people must be top most priority.