Guyana set to have Sex Offenders Register; DNA sample, strict monitoring of movements, communication envisaged

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2024, 21:52 by Writer

Guyana is about to have a Sex Offenders Database that would provide for compulsory monitoring of the movements of convicts including overseas travel.

If passed, the amended Sexual Offences Act will require convicts to among other things, not only provide information about their residence, the vehicles they are using but also their DNA samples. The law would also mandate the sex offender to provide his or her email address, information on the Internet Protocol (IP) address of any device he or she regularly uses, photograph and medical history including information on any communicable diseases contracted by the offender.

The proposed legislation provides for the names of Guyanese or persons residing here, who were convicted locally or overseas for an enterable offence, to be included in the Sex Offenders Database. The draft amendment to the Sexual Offences Act says such persons could be included whether or not they have completed their sentences.

All those who had committed an enterable sexual offence on or before May 25, 2010 would have their names included in the database which would be in control of the Police Commissioner.

At the same time, the law provides for registered sex offenders to apply to the High Court requesting that his name be removed from the database after his reporting period is completed or on the basis of compelling reasons. However, the High Court Registrar would have to inform the victim or the victim’s family who may inform the court orally or in writing why the offender’s name should be taken off or kept on the register.

The proposed change in the law requires the Police Commissioner to submit a report of the expunged information to the Minister of Home Affairs before January 1 of each year. The report must include the enterable offences for which the persons expunged from the Database were
convicted, and the reason for expunging the information.

Sex offenders, according to the amendment, must report their departure from Guyana at least seven days before the date of his intended departure; the countries of his intended stay; any country through which he may transit; the addresses of the places of his intended
stay; the duration of his stay in each country; the duration of his stay abroad; date of his intended return; a copy of his travel itinerary; and
any other relevant information as the designated officer may require. “A registered sex offender who, without reasonable excuse, fails to report to and provide a designated officer with any information in relation to his intention to travel outside of Guyana, pursuant to this section commits an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one million dollars and to imprisonment for two years,” the proposed draft law states.

The Attorney General’s Chambers said the proposed amendments are contained in a draft bill that has been circulated for consultations during the next 21 days which ends on June 17, 2024.

Government says the proposed Bill is available here and persons can send their proposals/amendments to

Children, who had committed an enterable offence, or seriously mentally ill persons would not be included in the register, according to the draft law.

The enterable offences under the Sexual Offences Act are rape, sexual assault, rape of a child under 16 years, sexual activity with a child under 16 years, causing a child under 16 years to watch a sexual act, meeting a child under 16 years following sexual grooming, sexual activity with a child family member, sexual activity with a child by abusing a position of trust, arranging or facilitating the commission of child sex offence, sex with adult family member (vulnerable adult), obtaining sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder by inducement, threat or deception; causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act by inducement, threat or deception; care worker engaging in, causing or inciting sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder; care worker causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act; exposure of the genitals; voyeurism, intercourse with an animal, administering a substance with intent, committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence and trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.

Those under the Cybercrime Act that are expected to be enterable are child pornography and child luring.

If tabled and passed by the House, sex offenders who have been convicted in Guyana or overseas would be required to report to the nearest police station on completion of sentence or arrival in Guyana respectively and provide details about their identity and intended places of residence. Failure to do so can attract a fine of GY$500,000 and one year imprisonment.

The Attorney General’s Chambers said the Sexual Offences Act was reviewed by a consultant as part of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-funded Support for the Criminal Justice System (SCJS) Project being executed by the Attorney General’s Chambers and Ministry of Legal Affairs.

The Chambers said a Consultant was retained to review and conduct a legal gap analysis of the sexual offences legislative regime in Guyana,
including but not limited to, the Sexual Offences Act 2010 and to prepare a revised Sexual Offences Act for implementation.

In the execution of this task, the Chambers said Consultant was required to engage key stakeholders and individuals in consultations and interviews. These include judges of the Supreme Court, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Magistrates, members of the Guyana Police Force, the legal profession, child-care officers, individuals with pending court matters, both as victims and offenders.

“The Consultant was also required to review similar legislation across the Caribbean and the Commonwealth and to borrow from those legislation, provisions which may either be absent or deficient in Guyana’s statutory framework,” the Chambers said.