Sex registry, online safety Bills tabled for debate

Students of Vunimono High School join MPs Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Vijay Nath for a photo session outside Parliament yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Students of Vunimono High School join MPs Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Vijay Nath for a photo session outside Parliament yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

ATTORNEY-GENERAL Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum tabled two Bills in Parliament yesterday which will be up for debate in the next sitting scheduled for April.

The two Bills — Sex Offenders Registry and Online Safety Bill 2018 — if passed, will see the set-up of the first-ever sex offenders registry in the country, and will ensure that there is a control over cyberbullying and stalking, and online trolling.

“This Bill (Sex Offenders Registry) in fact is a new law that we seek to get endorsement in Parliament on a written basis,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said a total of 227 people charged with 444 separate counts of sexual offences were recorded by the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, with the youngest victim of sexual offence a one-year-10-month-old baby.

“Unfortunately many sex offenders cannot be easily identified by society, they could be a stranger, they also could be a next door neighbour,” he said.

“There is an urgent need to intervene and create an avenue that will help curtail the serious growing concern in Fiji.”

He said the registration of sex offenders 2018 would help police and Government monitor sex offenders in the community and reduce sexual offences.

“The Bill requires sex offenders to report relevant personal information about themselves to be included in the register, leading to name, addresses, permanent distinguishing marks, fingerprint, place of employment and physical appearance,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the Online Safety Bill 2018, seeks to promote online safety through the establishment of the Online Safety Commission.

“The recent increase in reports of harmful and irresponsible online behaviour reflects changing attitude and behaviour of people,” he said.

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