Lithuania to have no separate sex offender register

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The chairwoman of the Seimas Committee on Social Affairs and Labor has given up the idea, at least for now, of setting up a register of sex offenders in Lithuania.

Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė says Lithuania's personal data protection requirements would not allow the creation of a publicly-accessible register, adding that a government-appointed working group is submitting proposals on how to use the existing registers to better ensure prevention.

"One of these proposals is to create links between the register of suspects, accused persons and convicts to those of teachers, health professionals, oncologists and others, and to give institutions working with children free access to information not only about convicted sex offenders, but also about those suspected of crimes," she said at a news conference on Monday.

Deputy Justice Minister Ernestas Jurkonis said one of the steps to prevent sex offenders from working from children would be to give the State Labor Inspectorate access to the existing register of offenders.

"The service's inspectors work directly with employers and ask them to fill in questionnaires during scheduled inspections. These issues will now be reflected in these questionnaires. This is a very effective measure to prevent a former sex offender from having any contact with children," she said.

Deputy Social Security and Labor Minister Vilma Augienė said there were plans to put in place a procedure to periodically check if sex offenders might be working with children. The database is now checked when someone applies for a job.

Šalaševičiūtė had raised the idea of creating a sex offender register that would be more widely accessible than the general database of offenders.

According to information from the Office of the Seimas, the United States, Canada, Croatia, Portugal, France and Poland have separate sex offender registers.

Source: BNS
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