FG Launches Sexual Offenders Register

Nigeria’s federal government launched its first national sexual offenders register on Monday – a database of those convicted for sexual violence since 2015 in Africa’s most populous nation.

The record will be available online to better help the public, state bodies and police conduct background checks and identify repeat offenders.

Julie Okah-Donli, Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons told the press: “You can access the register, you know those who raped, those who are paedophiles and all of that.

“What this does is that it promotes the name and shame policy, a lot of people don’t want the bad deeds they’ve done to be out there for the public to see, but this is going to name and shame you.”

According to the United Nations children agency UNICEF, one in four Nigerian women are sexually abused before they turn 18 – and the majority of cases of sexual abuse in the country are not prosecuted.

Commenting on the development, Leymah Roberta Gbowee, a co-recipient of 2011 Nobel Peace Prize said: “It is time for the women’s groups and men’s group and every well-meaning organization to re-emphasize to its community members that rape is not a divine justice issue, leaving it to God is not an option, seeking justice is an option. “

Nigeria minister for humanitarian affairs also said the security crisis in northeast Nigeria caused by a decade-long extremist insurgency had seen a rise in cases of sexual abuse that needed to be addressed.

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