‘Law must look at stigma’

THE law must consider the impact of lifelong stigma and barriers to integration and the right to be free from mental and emotional torture and trauma says director of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Ashwin Raj.

During his submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights yesterday on the Online Safety Bill, Mr Raj said it was imperative to note that the law must be rational, proportionate and rehabilitative.

He also highlighted that the sex offender registry must not mix minor offences in the same category as rape and other violent criminal convictions.

Mr Raj also recommended that the Bill must establish mechanisms by which offenders, whose convictions have been overturned, set aside or vitiated by a court of law, be removed from the registry rather than being labelled for life by being kept in the register indefinitely.

“The registry must be periodically reviewed whereby registrants should be able to present evidence of rehabilitation or substantial time living in.

“It should be able to present evidence of rehabilitation or substantial time living in the community without re-offence.”

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