Every Nigerian can now check if someone has committed any sexual offence in the past and even show receipts. Because the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has set up a database for sex offenders. The register, according to the agency, will keep tabs of sexual violence culprits who have been prosecuted and found guilty since 2015 and it will be accessible to all. It will also be available online. However, names of suspects who have been cleared will be recorded in a part of the register that will be only available to law enforcement agencies. At the launch, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, applauded the initiative, saying it will go a long way in exposing perpetrators of the crime. She said that rape of women has been a great challenge in recent times especially in the northern part of the country. She noted that “several cases of violence, including gender-based, are exhibited by people and are not being reported nor investigated. “Women and adolescents are being violated on many occasions at different places due to their helpless state and in many cases, the culprits are people known to the victims.” In her keynote address, Leymah Roberta Gbowee, a 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate from Liberia, said that the launch of the register would put an end to violence against women in Nigeria She also advised that the register be translated in Nigerian local languages to ensure no one is marginalised and the purpose of the initiative is achieved. An initial group of 15 NGOs will monitor police and media reports across Nigeria and update the register on a monthly basis. Currently, only two of Nigeria's 36 states, Lagos and Ekiti, keep databases of those convicted of sexual offences. What do you make of the move?
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