Czech Republic moves to create sex offender registry

Czech attorney proposes setting up a non-public sex offender registry to prevent convicted sex offenders from working with children. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.04.2022 12:02:00 (updated on 20.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

A recent case involving a sexual predator who assaulted a minor girl while he was head of a children's club may lead to a tightening of the legal conditions under which people can work with children and minors, reports

Lawmakers are now considering a proposal that would see the state set up a non-public register of those who have been convicted of crimes against children. Anyone who wants to work with children in the Czech Republic – teachers, camp leaders, educators, or pediatricians – would need a negative statement from such a register. 

The new legislation would correct a dangerous loophole in the law that erases offenses from the criminal register after a certain period of time and allows offenders to work with children again.

The Czech server mentions this loophole in association with the case of a Liberec man Jan R., the club leader who assaulted a 13-year-old girl less than a year after raping an 11-year-old girl in 2007. The registered association the man set up to work with children didn't even require a clean criminal record.

"For teaching staff … a clean record is a prerequisite for the job. The types of organizations where this incident took place are governed by the Civil Code, where this condition does not exist," Education Minister Petr Gazdík told iDnes. He said such legislation falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice but added that he's prepared to discuss modifications to the rules.

With a criminal record, offenses are no longer visible after a period of time. This means that person convicted of assaulting a child could conceivably work with children again and the state would have no way of knowing.

Czech attorney Klara Long Slámová, a Czech lawyer and politician who is running for the Czech presidency in 2023, is behind the proposal to establish a sex registry. She says doing so would be relatively simple and involve the duplication of certain offenses into a database which, unlike the criminal record, would never be expunged.

"There would be almost no personnel or financial costs involved. The only thing that would happen is that people working with children would have to apply for one extra piece of paper at a Czech Point," says Slámová.

According to Slámová, imposing a clean-record requirement on registered associations isn't enough as rapists and pedophiles would simply wait until they were removed from the register (which, in the case of suspended sentences, could be right after the end of their probationary period) and could continue to commit crimes.

A recently established parliamentary subcommittee on domestic and sexual violence is already looking into the proposal. Its chairwoman, Tatiana Malá, wants to adopt the law as soon as possible.

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