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Macedonia Launches Paedophile Register

June 6, 2012

On Sunday Macedonia launched an online register of convicted paedophiles who have been released, containing their pictures, names and addresses.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic, Balkan Insight, 04.06.2012
Photo by: Balkan Insight

Macedonia is the first country in the region to publish the online paedophile register and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs insists this will boost children’s safety.

“If this measure protects or saves at least one child’s life, than it would have served its purpose, ” Spiro Ristovski, Social Affairs Minister, told media.

The latest government data shows 231 people were convicted of paedophilia between 2004 and 2009. Figures indicate that the number of such cases in the Balkan countries is on the rise.

The move, announced in October last year, is considered problematic by some human rights watchdogs. The Macedonian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights expressed caution noting that the register may encourage individuals to take the law into their own hands.

For sexual offences against minors, the Macedonian law envisages sentences ranging from eight years to life in prison. For other sexual crimes the law stipulates terms ranging from three to ten years in jail.

The law, adopted earlier this year, which paved the way for the public paedophile register, also empowers the police to observe more closely the ex sex offenders.

They will be tasked with closely monitoring their whereabouts, especially their movements near schools, playgrounds and other areas where children gather.

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