Sex offender registry closer to reality in Czechia

In addition to a registry listing all child sex offenders, lawmakers want to increase requirements for working with minors.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 09.11.2022 11:41:00 (updated on 09.11.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Ministry of Justice is proposing the creation of a sex offender registry to better safeguard children. It also wants to require people working with minors, such as teachers, to present an official certificate showing they have no convictions for child abuse or similar offenses.

The arrest this year of a convicted child sex criminal who organized a children’s camp after his release from prison – and subsequently raped a seven-year-old at the camp – was one of the factors leading to this legislative proposal.

"A new type of protective measure would consist in registering high-risk, dangerous offenders for activities with children in the register,” said Ministry of Justice spokesman Vladimír Řepka in At present, convicted pedophiles are handed criminal records, which have an expiration date, making them harder to detect when the former offender applies for jobs that involve working with children.

How long should the offenders remain on the registry?

Molesters, abusers, and those guilty of child coercion would be placed on the registry – the time spent on it has not yet been clarified. 

"In my opinion, anyone who has ever harmed children must never work with them again in the future," said ANO politician Taťána Malá.

However, the director of the Psychiatric Clinic of Prague’s General University Hospital, Martin Anders, takes a more rehabilitative standpoint. He believes that perpetrators who have committed just one offense should be given treatment and the chance to work with children again.

Those guilty of online-child-pornography offenses would also be placed on the list. This is especially pertinent in our times, as Czech police reported receiving information about 16,000 such cases in 2021. In the first half of this year, there were 13,000 reports of child pornography offenses, reports.

Working with a children? You'll need a certificate

The governmental subcommittee on domestic and sexual violence is also pushing for the introduction of a “clean certificate” clearly demonstrating no history of child-related sexual offenses. This would apply to anybody working with children – including not only teachers, but also care providers, event organizers, and even maintenance staff, such as janitors and security wardens.

This, according to President of the Czech Union of Judges Libor Vávra, would act as a suitable deterrent for convicted pedophiles keen on working with children.

Interior Minister Vít Rakušan underlined earlier this week that the fight against sexual abuse of children was one of Czechia’s priorities, saying that "this is a very serious issue that cannot be underestimated.” No timespan has been set for the registry’s creation.

Still, the proposed legislation could prove a step forward as the battle to better safeguard children continues.

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