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More restrictions to be placed on released child-sex offenders

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CONVICTED child-sex offenders will be more strictly supervised after their release from prison, according to a draft legislative amendment prepared by the House legal affairs committee.

George Georgiou the chairman of the committee, announced the move after Friday’s meeting concluding discussions on the amendment to the law on the prevention of child sexual abuse and child pornography.

The amendment suggests additional measures against ex-convicts who sexually harassed children or were involved in child pornography scandals.

Until today, ex-convicts in child sexual assault cases could be obliged by the supervisory authority to visit a therapist if it was judged as required.

However, no other restrictions were suggested by legislation and the authority did not have the power to implement more drastic measures, said Georgiou.

Georgiou also said that with the upcoming amendment, the power and responsibilities of the supervisory authority will increase to be able to adequately perform their duties.

Following the approval of the new amendments, police will be required to notify the child or their guardian three months before the offender’s release from prison.

Moreover, police will be able to take measures for children’s protection in cases where they are notified by authorities of EU member states that an ex-convict jailed for sexual offences against children will be staying in Cyprus for more than seven days.

The court will also be in a position to assign supervision or issue sanctions against convicts following their release in order to protect children, or adults who fell victim to predators during their childhood.

Although the committee completed its discussions on the law amendments, it is waiting for more suggestions from the legal service and the welfare department, said Georgiou. Evanthia Savva, an Akel MP said that all deputies offered their own suggestions on Friday, which will be assessed and if approved would be added to the text.

The revised legislation will be submitted to the cabinet for approval by the end of January.


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