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"The South African Government must make the National Register for Sex Offenders available to the public to ensure transparency in our communities and for the safekeeping of our children."

One assumes that their loved ones are surrounded by people that are “safe”, but are we? Do we truly know our neighbours? Are there persons in our close community who are listed on the National Register for Sex Offenders (NRSO)?

The NRSO was established in 2007 by an Act of Parliament in an effort to “curb the prevalence of sexual offences in South Africa”. The NRSO is a database that lists the names of sexual offenders who have been found guilty of sexual offences against minors and mentally disabled people. Names of people convicted of such crimes but were declared mentally unfit to stand trial’s names are also included in the register. 

Presently employers in the public and private sectors, such as schools, crèches and hospitals, have the right to access this register in order to confirm that a potential employee are fit to work with children or mentally disabled persons. Convicted offenders are not allowed to work with, adopt or apply to be foster carers of children.

The NRSO, which was implemented in 2009, however is kept confidential and not open to the general public. As a result numerous offenders still have access to vulnerable people in our society.

Action Society is a newly found civil rights organization driven by the purpose to provide a voice to the voiceless. In a noticeably broken society our team collaborates with communities to fight for change and justice. By prioritizing the needs of the vulnerable and utilizing the framework of our civil rights system, we aim to deconstruct the harsh realities we see every day. 

Covid-19 regulations forces persons that might be at risk to be with acquit perpetrators of sexual crimes 24/7. Action Society has instructed their legal team to appeal to the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) in order for the NRSO to be publicly released as soon as possible. Our campaign urges President Cyril Ramaphosa to promptly attend to our agenda and address the issue. 

Action Society is concerned that the government lacks the will to enforce safety and security in South Africa. Citizens are obliged to join hands together in their fight for change; making a civil right such as safety a priority.

Support Action Society in our call to the South African Government to make the NRSO freely available in order to encourage transparency in our communities and safeguard our children and other vulnerable parties.

 

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Know your neighbour

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