Consider "closed' sex offender database

Consider "closed' sex offender database

There has been growing concern over sexual relationships between educators and their students ("Rise in cases of teachers' sexual misconduct a worry" by Mr Chan Cheng Lin; June 23").

Given the reduced need to declare one's criminal background during the job application process, will former sex offenders be given jobs that could see them coming into contact with teenagers and youth? In some cases, offenders were diagnosed with mental illnesses that prevented them from controlling their impulses.

Do the relevant authorities have a databank listing sex offenders for prospective employers - from pre-schools and student hostel operators to schools and after-school-care operators - to conduct checks?

Though critics may deem such a measure a violation of human rights and privacy, no one is denying these former offenders the right to work.

There are plenty of jobs unrelated to children or youth that these former offenders can take up, and rules should be in place to protect our young.

While the United States' National Sex Offender Public Website allows anyone to conduct checks, we can tweak ours to be a closed system that limits searches to only schools certified by the Ministry of Education and youth-related businesses registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

With this databank, our young can be protected from potential recalcitrant offenders.

Chia Eu Foong

This article was first published on July 02, 2014.
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