The preparation of the register of sex offenders has made progress. The Ministry of Justice agreed on its form with other ministries and members of parliament on Monday. The so-called “child certificate,” which aims to protect children from sexual predators, could include previous offenders. For serious crimes, such as child rape, registration would be automatic.
Representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Education, Labor, and Health, as well as the chair of the parliamentary subcommittee against sexual violence, Taťána Malá (ANO), and the government commissioner for human rights, Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková, met at the Government Office to discuss the register.
“We have truly made progress. We have agreed on how the child certificate should function, and most importantly, we have finally agreed that it will have a retroactive effect. This means it will also impact offenders who were convicted before the law comes into effect,” said Malá, the chair of the parliamentary subcommittee, after the meeting.
Originally, the Ministry of Justice advocated for a version of the register that would only include newly convicted offenders. They pointed out that retroactive effect cannot be achieved in criminal law. They also wanted each registration in the register to be decided by a court.
However, some members of parliament demanded that registration be automatic after a final conviction for selected crimes and that the register also include past offenders. The Ministry eventually agreed to these demands.
How will the certificate work?
Offenders could be registered based on either a new protective measure being prepared by the Ministry or automatically, directly from the law.
“As a result of the protective measure, information about the commission of a criminal offense by the offender will be published in a new type of output from the criminal records registry even after the so-called deletion period has expired. This means for the entire duration, the offender poses a risk of working with children,” the Ministry explained in a press release.
The automatic inclusion in the “child certificate” will work so that selected criminal offenses will be automatically recorded according to the law. “There will no longer be a need for a separate court decision on them,” the Ministry stated.
“Reducing the risk of repeat offenses against children is essential when someone commits a sexual offense against a child,” emphasized Deputy Minister of Justice Antonín Stanislav. “These measures respond to recent cases and unequivocally protect children from such dangerous individuals,” added Deputy Karel Dvořák.
According to the deputy ministers, the modification is “quickly acceptable and quickly implementable” within the existing information systems. “We will do everything we can to ensure that it takes effect no later than January 1, 2025. We will strive for an even earlier implementation,” concluded Stanislav.
“We are making up for another debt to children in our country. Advocates for the protection of children’s rights have long been calling for a child certificate,” Šimáčková Laurenčíková highlighted on Monday.