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Dominica: Government to consider sex offenders registry and increase in the age of consent says Blackmoore

Source: dominicanewsonline.com 7/22/22

Minister of National Security and Home Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore, says that the Government of Dominica is open to the idea of introducing a sex offenders registry and reviewing the age of consent on island, with a view to increasing it.

His comments came at a press conference this week, which sought to educate the public on Dominica’s sexual offences act of the 2017 Revised Laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

In light of the recent increase in child sexual abuse cases, many have called for the establishment of a sex offenders registry in Dominica which will see convicted offenders’ names publicly listed, along with other pertinent information such as their date of birth, nationality and address, with the aim of making the public aware that a sexual predator may be in their midst.

According to Blackmoore, the introduction of the registry was one of the recommendations made during the discussion and consultation held as part of the review of Dominica’s legislation.

“So of course, that’s something we still will consider going forward,” he said.

“As we go forward in terms of ensuring that the public knows of someone who is a potential threat, especially as it pertains to minors, it is something that we have to give consideration to, but also a balance has to be struck going forward,” the National Security Minister added. “You may have some people who have served the time, and who have been through some element of reform, having served their time and being out in the public domain.”

He pointed out that despite the absence of a sexual offenders registry, he police have kept what is called a ‘rogues gallery’ with the pictures, photographs, and the type of offences various offenders have been convicted for.

Currently, only Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Belize have sex offender registry laws in some form. However, the Antiguan and Barbuda government just last week referred their National Sex Offender Register Bill, 2022 to a select committee after an opposition legislator, Trevor Walker, raised several concerns including the possibility of infringing on the rights of the sex offender.

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