Namibia: Government to Implement Sex Offenders' Register

sex offender
24 February 2021

THE Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) on Tuesday announced the government will enact a sex offenders' register before 31 March 2022 following PDM member of parliament Winnie Mooongo's proposal to establish such a register on 7 October last year.

The PDM said it was happy to make the announcement and that its parliamentary caucus would continue to influence legislation vigorously in the National Assembly (NA).

The proposal was tabled when Moongo advocated for victims of sexual violence in the NA.

"When you open our daily newspapers . . . one may think Namibia is a rapists' haven.

"Not a single day passes without having to read or hear that a woman, a child, a grandmother, a man or even a newborn has been raped," she said.

"This has become a our reality, and the statistics do not lie. The Namibian Police recorded 3 164 rape cases between 2016 and 2019 only," Mooongo said.

She said the police in 2015 reported that a shocking 79% of incidents of rape goes unreported.

A sex offenders' register has been proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms to mitigate sex crimes in countries such as Israel, New Zealand and Australia, she said.

It would make it easier for the police to detect potential reoffenders.

It also helps in alerting members of a particular community when they are in possible danger, Mooongo said.

"The creation of a sex offenders' register is further necessitated by the fact that once a sex offender has served his or her sentence, they go under cover and off the law-enforcement radar."

The register would prescribe a set of conditions as to how interaction with the public should be conducted by sex offenders in the future, Mooongo said.

"This is not a punishment for sex offenders, but it is rather a mechanism that, when put in place, will keep our citizens safe from sexual predators," she said.

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