No names on child offenders’ register
No names on register four months later
More than four months after the child offenders’ register officially came into force no names appear on the list that is meant to protect children from abuse and neglect.
“There are no names on the child offenders’ register… Names are placed on the… register at the court’s discretion after an accused is found guilty of specific crimes as provided by law,” a spokesman for the Justice Ministry said.
The register was meant to start being compiled on January 20 when the Protection of Minors’ Act came into force. It will list the names of people convicted of offences involving children.
The law is not retroactive, so a person listed on the register would have to be convicted after it came into force. There have been convictions since but nobody is listed. The idea for the register, which has been implemented with success in several countries, is to make the names of people convicted of abuse and sex crimes available to agencies dealing with children even when the courts would have ordered a ban on publication of the name to protect the victims.
The convictions that could lead to a person’s inclusion on the list include defilement, rape, having sex with minors, child abduction, prostitution, pornography, trafficking in minors, harassment and neglect.
People acquitted on grounds of insanity could still be listed. Moreover, the court has the discretion to order that a person convicted of other crimes is listed if it feels there is a threat to children.
Once listed, a person would not be able to be a member, work or hold any position within an establishment or organisation involved in the education, care, custody and welfare of minors.
Agencies dealing with children would have to get the courts’ permission to view the register when screening a prospective employee.
The idea to have the paedophile register surfaced in mid-2006 in the wake of a controversy involving the Malta Football Association, which had kept a 79-year-old convicted paedophile as a groundsman at the Pace Grasso ground in Paola that also doubles as a playing field for a nearby school.
Originally, the offenders’ register was planned to list people convicted of sex offences against children.