Ethiopia’s Bold Move: Unveiling National Registry for Sex Offences

Ethiopia's Bold Move: Unveiling National Registry for Sex Offences
BBC

Ethiopia’s Bold Move: Unveiling National Registry for Sex Offences

Ethiopia is gearing up to implement its first-ever sexual violence registration system, slated to commence operations next year, as announced by the government.

This pioneering system aims to tackle and address sexual violence against women and children, a pervasive issue in Ethiopia where prosecuting gender-based violence remains a significant challenge.

According to a 2016 survey, a staggering 23% of Ethiopian women have endured physical violence, with 10% experiencing sexual violence. These figures likely underestimate the true extent of the problem due to underreporting.

The forthcoming system seeks to hold perpetrators of sexual violence accountable even after they have served their sentences. Once operational, it will prohibit registered sex offenders from employment in sensitive sectors such as schools and orphanages, as disclosed by Seleshi Tadesse, an executive in women’s rights and protection at the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, speaking to BBC News Amharic.

With an estimated budget of approximately 10 million birr ($176,000; £140,000), sourced from various institutions, the proposed national sex offence crime registry will feature three types of pages, including a public page. This multifaceted approach aims to enhance transparency and empower communities to safeguard vulnerable populations.

The introduction of this registration system signifies a significant step forward in addressing sexual violence in Ethiopia. By establishing a mechanism for accountability and monitoring, the government aims to foster a safer environment for women and children, where perpetrators are held responsible for their actions and prevented from causing further harm.

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