Sex Offenders Register in the Offing - DOVVSU Director

The Director of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, says the Service will soon introduce a sex offenders register into the country's crime prevention fight.

She made the disclosure when she participated in a webinar organized by "The Justice Foundation", a non profit organization that champion's broad access to justice by the citizenry, in collaboration with "Glitz Africa", Ghana's leading fashion, lifestyle and entertainment brand, under the theme "Eradicating a Culture of Rape in Ghana".

"In Ghana generally, we document all convicts, there is a procedure that we go through. We don't have one specifically for rape convicts, but we intend to do going forward, it is on the drawing board, that we establish a register for people who have been convicted of rape so that it can be something that we can make reference to" the Director of DOVVSU, Chief Superintendent Owusua-Kyremeh said during the virtual seminar, moderated by Bettina Kwarteng, the Deputy Executive Director of The Justice Foundation and Legal Practitioner.

*Sex Offender Registry*

A sex offender registry is a system in various countries designed to allow government authorities to keep track of the activities of sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences. In some jurisdictions, registration is accompanied by residential address notification requirements. In many jurisdictions, registered sex offenders are subject to additional restrictions, including on housing.

Those on parole or probation may be subject to restrictions that do not apply to other parolees or probationers. Sometimes, these include (or have been proposed to include) restrictions on being in the presence of underage persons (under the age of majority), living in proximity to a school or day care center, owning toys or items targeted towards children, or using the Internet. Registered sex offenders are not allowed to sign up for or use Facebook or other social media platforms.

Sex offender registries exist in many English-speaking countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The United States is the only country with a registry that is publicly accessible; all other countries in the English - speaking world have sex offender registries only accessible by law enforcement.

*Extend Sex Offenders Database*

Legal practitioner and also a medical doctor, Dr. Raymond Owusu-Ansah, who also participated in the webinar, called on the Police Service to include evidence of persons whose details may have been discovered after acts of rape but were not necessarily arrested.

"I think going forward, we should also be looking at not only those who have been convicted, because it is not all rape cases that you turn to find or prosecute to the end, but if you are able to get evidence, but you can't get identity to that evidence, but you are able to get DNA samples, this can be added to that database. What it does is that in the future, it can also assist in arresting the person who may have committed this one and managed to escape through the loophole" the legal practioner and medical doctor pointed out.

*The Justice Foundation*

The Justice Foundation is an apolitical, not-for-profit, non-religious organization, with the sole purpose of increasing access to justice in Ghana. Founded by Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Budu (a Lawyer, Law Lecturer and Head of Law Centers at the GIMPA Faculty of Law) and incorporated in 2013, the Justice Foundation believes that injustice, howsoever manifested, is unacceptable and should be condemned and totally eradicated through a gradual systematic approach. As part of its mandate, the Justice Foundation engages in community legal aid outreach programmes, trainings and workshops as well as representing certain categories of indigent persons on a pro bono basis.