21 Feb 2013

Samoa sex offender registry plan fuels debate

6:47 am on 21 February 2013

Samoa's Law Commission is prioritising its preparation of a discussion document about a sex offender registry to encourage public feedback.

The Commission's Executive Director, Leilani Tuala Warren, says the idea to have such a registry has sparked much public feedback and debate among communities.

She says they are looking at how other countries run similar registries and how the information is published and updated.

But she says there are many other things to consider .

"Who would monitor this register? Who will have access to it? Where will it be housed? How long would offenders go on to it because we understand in different countries there is a different length of time, so for some countries once you're on it you're on it for life. And we are also looking at other mechanisms within Samoa which would serve as deterrents."

Leilani Tuala Warren says such deterrents could be longer sentences for sex offenders, and how a village handles an offender and their family, which can include banishment.