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CJ Koome launches convicted sexual offenders’ electronic register

Chief Justice (CJ) Martha Koome today launched a Convicted Sexual Offenders Electronic Register in fulfillment of the Sexual Offences Act of 2006 at Kibera Law Courts.

The CJ said the register will hold a crucial database of all convicted offenders and will ensure easy access to information on convicted sex offenders for relevant authorities.

“We are sending a clear message that our society will not tolerate those who prey upon the vulnerable. We will hold them accountable, and their actions shall not go unnoticed or unpunished,” CJ Koome said.

The Chief Justice noted that the automated Register will serve as a tool for deterrence, prevention, and rehabilitation of sexual offenders.

“The register will enable the actors in the justice chain to monitor and supervise sexual offenders after their release from prison. It will also enable the public to access information on sexual offenders in their neighbourhoods and take precautionary measures to protect themselves and their children,” she said.

The State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action Principal Secretary, Veronica Nduva, noted that the Convicted Sexual Offenders Register is a national register that captures the details of all convicted sexual offenders in Kenya. It will be accessible at all times to players in the criminal justice system and also to stakeholders.

“We look forward to interacting with and utilising the Register, which provides a convenient platform for stakeholders to make requests to access the Register for purposes of protecting citizens, especially the vulnerable in society,” PS Nduva said.

The CJ also launched the Sexual Gender Based Violence Strategy, the Child Justice Strategy, and the specialised SGBV Courts in Kibera and Makadara Court Stations.

CJ Koome directed Presiding Judges and Heads of Stations in Meru, Nakuru, Kiambu, Machakos, Kisii, Kitale, and Kakamega Law Courts to designate special SGBV Registries and put in place progressive Case Management Strategies to expedite the cases.

Speaking at the same event, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu expressed concern that cases of sexual and gender-based violence, including sexual offenses, have reached pandemic levels across the country, leaving young boys, girls, and women scarred and the communities fractured and bleak.

“The policies and interventions we launch here today will go a long way to improving access to justice for these vulnerable groups,” DCJ Mwilu said.

In regards to the Child Justice Strategy, the Chief Justice said the strategy echoes the ethos of the Constitution and the Children’s Act, 2022, and envisions a child-friendly judiciary where the best interest of every child is the guiding principle.

“We recognise the unique challenges faced by children in conflict with the law, children in contact with the law, child victims of abuse, and children who accompany their mothers to prison. The Child Justice Strategy seeks to address these challenges by embracing a comprehensive, compassionate, and child-sensitive approach in dealing with cases involving children,” the CJ said.

The launch of the policies reaffirms the Judiciary’s commitment to the protection of the vulnerable and marginalised in society.

By Hamdi Mohamud

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