Committee Welcomes Child Protection Register
The Portfolio Committee on Social Development has applauded the Department for the National Child Protection Register.
The register is aimed at curbing the alarming number of child abuses and exploitation. The register will have a record of circumstances surrounding the abuse or deliberate child neglect. The register will keep a record of those people who have been found guilty of abusing children.
The register, driven by Departments of Social Development, and Justice and Constitutional Development, will ensure the safety of children as well as ensure that offenders who have been found guilty of violating children do not make contact with them.
The Department of Social Development will keep and maintain the National Child Protection Register while the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, through the courts, will provide the Department of Social Development with all convictions of all people on charges involving child abuse. The Department will also provide details of the children involved, as well as details of persons found to be unsuitable to work with children.
The register will be confidential as access to it will be limited only to the Director-General of Social Development or obtainable through an order of court. However, an offender can apply to be taken off the register after they have been rehabilitated.
But Committee members questioned whether it was a right decision to let offenders appeal. They also questioned who determined whether offenders were fully rehabilitated. The Department of Social Development said the appeal process did not mean that the appeal would be automatically successful.
by Kanyisa Ndyondya