In a bid to deter, punish, and shame paedophiles and other perpetrators of sexual crimes, the government of Trinidad and Tobago will be making the sexual offenders registry public.
The law went into effect on January 31.
A statement from the Office of the Attorney General, praised this historic decision.
It said that under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, 2019, for the first time in the history of Trinidad and Tobago, information on sexual offenders can be shown on an online website for the public to access their names, addresses, photographs and offences committed.
“For too long the society has seen the rampant commission of sex crimes, including the most savage and brutal attacks against women, children and even the elderly. Statistics demonstrate that sexual crimes are the second highest, after murder, before the High Courts of Trinidad and Tobago,” the statement said.
It said this new law will allow the public to better protect themselves, and for law enforcers to be be stringent.
“For the first time in Trinidad and Tobago, law enforcement will now be empowered to better monitor and track offenders who must frequently report to the police station and provide every essential detail about themselves, including their fingerprints and DNA,” it read.
“Victims of sexual crimes can seek compensation from the offender if they contract a sexually transmitted infection. The law also emphasises the protection of children by widening the category of persons who must mandatorily report cases of sexual abuse, failing which an offence is committed.”
The government said prior to the new legislation, “the laws that stood regarding the registration of sex offenders were inadequate, inconsistent and underutilised.
“Between the years 2000–2019, there were a total of 1,693 persons convicted of sexual offences in Trinidad and Tobago yet zero of those persons were registered in a sexual offender’s registry.
This government identified this lacuna in the law for immediate reform to seriously address the sentencing, registering and monitoring of sex offenders and also provide a critical tool to law enforcement investigations.”