August 13, 2013
Alarm at sex suspect blacklist
Justice lobby group Rethinking Crime and Punishment is warning of unintended consequences in Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s latest piece of lawmaking.
Ms Bennett is proposing new measures to prevent child abuse, including imposing a 10 year ban on individuals working, living and socialising with children.
Judges could be asked to impose the ban if police or Child Youth and Family believe "on the balance of probabilities" someone poses a threat to a child, even if they are not charged or convicted of any offence.
Rethinking spokesperson Kim Workman says it is known that family members will often not report suspected child abuse if it means the perpetrator is likely to be separated from the family for a long period of time.
They will however insist that the perpetrator undergo a sex offender treatment programme rather than be reported to the Police or CYPS.
Mr Workman says there needs to be a comprehensive public consultation process around the legislation, and he also wants to see a report from the Attorney General on whether it breaches the Bill of Rights, or any international covenants to which New Zealand is a signatory.
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