Kenya gets first digital sex offender registry

Martha Koome

Chief Justice Martha Koome.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • While the automated registry can be freely accessed by judicial officers, members of the public will only gain access after making a request.

Kenyans will now be able to obtain information about sexual offenders residing in their communities after Chief Justice Martha Koome announced the implementation of Kenya's first online sex offender registry.

This comes after the Judiciary automated its manual records, meaning that judicial officers like magistrates and lawyers can now freely access information linked to their cases.   

"The implementation of the automated register is a critical tool in protecting the public against sex offenders. By providing accessible information, we equip individuals with the means to take necessary precautions and create an environment that discourages such offenses," CJ Koome said on Monday at the Kibera Law Courts. 

While the automated registry can be freely accessed by judicial officers, members of the public can also gain access after making a request. One will be required to fill the prescribed request form indicating their interest in the information sought to the office of the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary through the e–filing system.

CJ Koome said the registry will not only function as a means of deterrence, prevention and rehabilitation for sexual offenders, but also provide an avenue for monitoring and supervising convicts following their release from prison.

For members of the public, this means they can obtain information that empowers them to take necessary precautions to safeguard themselves and their children. 

“We have taken this step in response to the reality that one of the key challenges in addressing sexual gender-based violence and child abuse is the lack of reliable and accessible data on the prevalence, patterns and trends of these crimes and those who commit them. This hampers effective planning, monitoring and evaluation of interventions and policies. It also poses a risk of repeat offending and victimisation,” said CJ Koome.