Lawmaker says sex predators deserve no anonymity, but Chris Tang argues unfavorable to rehabilitation | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

The “scumbags” who sexually assault children do not deserve anonymity, therefore the public should have the right to know the identity of sex offenders, lawmaker Nixie Lam Lam said in the Legislative Council meeting on Wednesday.

But her view has sparked a heated debate between her and Secretary for Security Chris Tang Ping-keung, as Tang opposed her proposal, saying that it would seriously invade others’ privacy and is unfavorable to sexual offenders’ rehabilitation.

Currently, employers can require job seekers to provide their sexual conviction record for jobs related to taking care of children and mentally incapacitated persons, but this is not a coercive measure.

In the Legco meeting yesterday, Tang said the scope of the sexual conviction record check scheme has been gradually expanding in recent years since the system was rolled out in December 2011.

“The government agrees that the scope of the scheme should be expanded to further strengthen the protection of children and mentally incapacitated persons,” Tang said.

“In considering the expansion of scope, we have to be prudent and ensure that there is sufficient capacity given the limited capability of the electronic system and constraints in the police’s manpower and resources,” he added.

Tang also told lawmakers that the government is not considering changing the scheme from voluntary to mandatory, and it will keep in view its operation from time to time and review the need for legislation in the future.

Lam said in response that one case of sexual abuse should already be considered too much, and it is also no room for compromisation while it comes to cases related to children.

She said foreign countries have a register that contains information of sexual offenders and their photo, therefore called on the government to provide a “blacklist” of sexual offenders for local parents to take as reference.

“In some countries, nearby residents will even be notified when sexual offenders move into the neighborhood. Scumbags who sexually assault children do not have the right to remain anonymous,” Lam said.

However, Tang said making public their criminal record is not beneficial to offenders rehabilitation.

“For example, if a 10-year-old student sexually assaulted one of his or her classmates, should their record be made public for the rest of their life? Should we deprive them of their rights to rehabilitate?” Tang said.

He therefore said Lam’s proposal is not in line with Hong Kong’s values, and it is undesirable to make public sexual offenders’ records.

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