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Murderers convicted before 2002 can still work with children

Viru Prison in Jõhvi, Northeastern Estonia. April 2017.
Viru Prison in Jõhvi, Northeastern Estonia. April 2017. Source: (Tairo Lutter/Postimees/Scanpix)

According to daily Postimees, the government is working on a legislative amendment that would make it illegal for individuals convicted of murder to work with children even after they served their sentence. So far this has been possible for those convicted before 2002 because of a technicality.

As the paper wrote, the government swung into action after it turned out that an individual that was convicted and served a prison sentence both for manslaughter and attempted murder had worked as a mathematics teacher at different schools in Tallinn for nine years.

The teacher was fired just before starting the tenth year of their career following a report by Radar, an investigative TV program on Kanal 2.

The amendment is intended to close a gap in current law thanks to which people who were convicted of murder before 2002 are still allowed to work with children after serving their sentence. Three ministries are working to amend the Child Protection Act to bar anyone previously convicted of manslaughter or murder from working with children, regardless of the law under which they were convicted.

The amendment is expected to enter into force on Jan. 1, 2018.

Current law makes it possible for people who were convicted of manslaughter or murder before 2002 to work with children due a technicality, as the Child Protection Act fails to mention the relevant articles of the Criminal Code that were in effect before 2002.

“The Child Protection Act refers to specific provisions of the Penal Code, which prevent someone from working with children. The provisions of the Criminal Code that were in effect before 2002 are not listed as such restrictions,” Aare Pere, adviser at the Ministry of Justice, told Postimees.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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