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‘Rapists’ to lose their jobs

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By ARTHUR MORDAUNT - SWAZI TIMES-23-Jul-2009

MBABANE – People convicted of sexual offences in or outside the country might soon find themselves jobless.

Such individuals will also be prohibited from being adoptive parents, foster parents and care-givers.

Those who are not employed but seeking employment will be forced to inform their potential employers, in their applications, that they were once convicted of a sexual offence. This will happen should Parliament pass and adopt the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill, 2009 as is. The proposed legislation gives employers the responsibility of firing their employees convicted of such crimes.

It will not happen anyhow though as the employer must first establish whether there is any position the affected employee can be transferred to within the company. If no such position exists, the employer would have no choice but to terminate the services of that worker.

Section 56 of the Bill stipulates that, once the Bill becomes law, there shall be a National Register for Sexual Offenders. This register will contain names of sex offenders, whom the court shall order details about them to be written there. According to Section 63 of the Bill, such people will be prohibited from being employed in certain types of jobs. For instance, they will be prohibited from being employed to be in charge of children, physically or mentally disabled and being foster parents.

Entities that run facilities providing the above services will apply to the Registrar seeking to know if an employee or candidate for employment has ever been convicted of a sexual offence. Section 65 (1) (d) and (e) states: “An employer shall, subject to paragraph (e), take reasonable steps to prevent an employee whose particulars are recorded in the register from continuing to gain access to a child or person who is physically or mentally disabled, in the course of his employment, including, if reasonably possible or practicable to transfer such person from the post or position occupied by him to another post or position.

“If any steps to be taken under paragraph (d) shall not ensure the safety of a child or a person who is physically or mentally disabled, the employment relationship, the use of services or access, as the case may be, shall be terminated immediately.” The proposed legislation, however, makes a provision for the offender to apply, after 10 years had elapsed since the conviction, that his name should be removed from the register.


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