Raj calls for balance

Update: 3:39PM THE proposed sex offenders registry must be balanced and also ensure the rights of children, both victims and perpetrators is protected.

In his submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights earlier today, Ashwin Raj, the director of the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission asked that the committee consider examine the structural causes of sexual violence in Fiji.

“Law must be rational, proportionate, rehabilitative and evidence based and consider the impact of lifelong stigma and barriers to integration and the right to be free from mental and emotional torture and trauma,” Mr Raj said. 

Questioning whether the bill considered the best interests of a child as per existing legislation relating to children, Mr Raj also asked the committee to consider the impact the proposed registry would have on privacy and respect for human dignity and respect for private and family life.

“The imperative to register sex offenders, therefore, will require careful balancing between public safety and the human rights of sex offenders,” Mr Raj said.

“As we strive towards striking a balance between our right, including that of our children, to live a life free of sexual violence and the fundamental human rights of perpetrators while holding them to account, we must also examine the structural causes of sexual violence in Fiji.”

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