Sex Offenders Registry - State and National Level, Nigeria
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In Nigeria, section 1(4) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 provides that a register for convicted sexual offenders shall be maintained and accessible to the public. The extent of this Act is however restricted as other States of the Federation are yet to implement the Act into various States’ law. The implication of this is that individuals are unable to know just who they interact and associate with.
Various countries in the world have sex offenders’ registry such as South Africa, The United States, Australia, Canada and The United Kingdom. This list is not exhaustive. The registry usually contains the name of the offender and details of the offence. This has been used to maintain transparency in many processes in the various countries, processes ranging from employability to the type of business an offender can run to adoption to guardianship.
In Nigeria, there are only two (2) known sex offenders’ registers i.e. the Registry in Lagos State which was opened in 2014 and a “Black Book” for sexual offenders which was opened in Ekiti State.The Lagos State sex offenders register is said to have 140 registered convicted sex offenders to use shame as a deterrent. These registers are irregularly updated and this poses a plethora of problems including accountability because it is not enough for there to be a sex offenders’ register if such a register is not updated regularly or referred to.
Therefore we, The Consent Workshop - a foundation that seeks to deconstruct the rape culture that exists in our nation and in the minds of our people, propose a structure for the creation and maintenance of a Sex Offenders Registry at a Federal level, and within all 36 states, beginning with Lagos. As there is already a law requiring it in place, and an existing one in some states, we call upon the government to enforce the system of sex offender registration to be abided by at federal and state level.
The Sex Offenders’ Registry is highly required in Nigeria for the sake of transparency and awareness. There are situations where registered sex offenders in other countries come back to Nigeria and commit other sexual crimes to a fresh set of victims. They open businesses which put people at risk of being violated sexually and they take up guardianship roles. This needs to end
The Consent Workshop is a youth led movement aimed at deconstructing rape culture through consent education, provision of resources and raising awareness. The Consent Workshop network is committed to building an efficient structure for this proposal. We urge on the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its supporting ministries to consider this important step in ending rape culture
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