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Revealing Sexual Offenders` IDs Proving Ineffective

Posted April. 16, 2009 09:05,   


Sexual crimes against children under 13 has jumped 59 percent in recent years, going from 721 cases in 2004, 738 in 2005, 1,081 in 2007 and 1,220 last year.

Requests for the personal information of sexual offenders have numbered just 48 between July last year to last month. This means the system allowing the disclosure of personal information of such criminals has proven an ineffective deterrent to such crimes.

Homes of the victims or criminals are the most common sexual crime scenes. The number of sexual crimes against children conducted at homes was 37.

Twenty-eight sexual crimes occurred on the street; 20 on staircases or elevators of apartments; 17 at public baths; 13 at playgrounds or public and amusement parks; and eight in cars.

By crime type, the number of attempted and successful rapes was 14; sexual harassment 132; purchased sex three; and distribution of pornographic materials one.

Kim Ji-yeong, a researcher at the Korean Institute of Criminology, said, “Children are vulnerable to sexual crimes at apartments or public baths where they usually lower their guard. We need laws to require all apartments to install closed-circuit cameras to monitor staircases and elevators. Also, parents should pay keen interest to their children at sleeping rooms of public baths.”

By age, those in their 40s accounted for the largest share (35 cases) of sexual offenders against children, followed by those in their 50s (31); 20s (27); 30s (26); 60s (14); 70s (eight); and 80s (one).

Sexual crimes against children conducted by those aged over 50 accounted for 36.7 percent (54 cases).

Most of the offenders committed their crimes nearby their residence. According to the material, 48 of the crimes happened within townships, villages or small districts where criminals reside and 63 occurred within a city, county or district where the criminals lived.

Gyeonggi Province had 26 sexual offenders against children, followed by Seoul with 18; South Gyeongsang Province 15; South Jeolla Province 14; North Gyeongsang Province 11; and Gwangju 10.

The government in February last year allowed the personal information of sexual offenders to be released to the public under the Act to Protect Juveniles from Sexual Crimes. Detailed information such as names, pictures, addresses and workplaces are open to the heads of educational institutions and parents living in the area for five years.

In a survey of 1,025 parents conducted by the Government Youth Commission in February last year, 89.4 percent of parents with children under age 13 said they would read the personal information of sexual offenders. Requests for sexual criminals’ personal information was requested only 48 times from July last year to last month.

Those who want to read the information should visit a police station and submit a written application along with their identification cards.

The government announced a new measure to release pictures and addresses of sexual offenders against children on the Internet for 10 years after the execution of a such criminal`s sentence. If the information is uploaded on the Internet, anybody can read it.

Yet the bill remains pending at the National Assembly since certain human rights organizations warn that the new measure might violate human rights.

Shin Gi-suk, head of Honam Sunflower Center, said, “You need to imagine becoming the victim of a sexual crime because you don’t know that the sex offender has lived near your home. Sexual offenders’ personal information should be released on the Internet since many sex offenders against children and juveniles strike again.”

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