Would a sex offenders registry help prevent crimes related to sexual violence? Kerala is set to test the waters.
In an unprecedented move, Kerala is set to become the first state in the country to have a public registry of sex offenders. While such lists exist in countries like the United States and Ireland, this would be the first time that names of sex offenders from a particular region in India will be in the public domain.
The announcement was made by Governor P Sathasivam while speaking at the opening day of the Budget session in the Kerala Assembly. A report from Scroll has quoted him as saying, “To ensure deterrence, my government will set up a sex offenders’ registry, which will maintain all identification details of sex offenders. It will be kept in the public domain.”
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At present, it has not been made clear if the names on the list will be that of convicted felons or people who have been charged with sexual violence. Sathasivam also did not make it clear as to when the registry would be set up.
In the past few days, the state has been reeling from news of a popular actress being abducted and sexually assaulted in a moving car in Kochi.
The governor also announced a slew of measures to combat sexual assault in the region that includes a victim relief fund as well as a department specially dedicated to women’s safety.
Image for representation. Photo source: Facebook
Apart from the announcement made by the government in Kerala, there has also been a citizen-led effort to urge the Union government to initiate such a registry on a national level. A change.org petition currently has over 59,000 signatures calling for a sex offenders registry.
With many of the details yet to emerge, it is still too soon to tell if such a list would help prevent sexual crimes against all genders or even be misused. We would love to hear from our readers on thoughts regarding this initiative. Would you want this to be instated nationally?
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