News

Offender registry unlikely here

Chemical castration is one effective way of treating paedophilia.

But while practised in the US, Europe, Australia and Israel - and South Korea became the first Asian country to enact a law allowing the use of chemical castration on convicted paedophiles in 2011 - it is not practised here.

Dr Lim Boon Leng, a consultant psychiatrist at the Gleneagles Hospital, says this is because it has yet to be proven if such a measure will reduce anti-social behaviour, and would need the paedophile's consent.

Countries such as Britain, Canada and New Zealand also have a sex offenders registry.

This is a database designed to allow authorities to keep track of the residence and activities of sex offenders. In some places, the registry is made available to the public via a website to warn the community there is a sex offender in their midst.

Others have exclusion zones. This is to ensure the sex offender does not live next to a school, a park or a children's activity area.

But psychiatrists here explain that this may not work here because such measures go against the spirit of the Yellow Ribbon Project, which seeks to get employers to give former offenders a second chance, and as it is, former inmates are already finding it hard to reintegrate into society.

"Such a list can potentially lead to further alienation. The public can figure out who he is and identify him.

"This causes aggravation and prevents him from interacting with adults. It can even further fuel his paedophiliac tendencies," psychiatrist GS Devan from Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre says.

He is in favour of a restricted registry, made known only to the Government and institutions dealing with children, should the offenders try to look for jobs there.