OffenderWatch, Zandoli USA Join Forces to Track Sex Offenders in the Caribbean
COVINGTON, La. — OffenderWatch, a sex offender registry management provider for law enforcement, and the Caribbean Committee Against Sex Crimes, an initiative of nonprofit Zandoli USA, have announced a joint mission to deliver a network of sex offender registries across the 15 nations of the Caribbean Community that seeks to track sex offenders throughout the Caribbean and eventually across the world.
“With this partnership, we hope to deliver a comprehensive network of shared sex offender registries in all the countries of the Caribbean so that offenders are accounted for and children are saved,” said Jonathan Bhagan of Caribbean Committee Against Sex Crimes.
Collaborating sex offender registries in CARICOM nations aim to help law enforcement worldwide as they track sex offender movement, investigate sex crimes and prevent human trafficking.
CCASC said it works with nonprofit and governmental agencies across CARICOM. All 15 CARICOM nations are at varying stages of implementing sex offender registration, with Jamaica, Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago already having laws on the books.
The partners envision legislative change to implement a global sex offender registration system linking law enforcement agencies worldwide through a common database application. The objective is to reduce child sex trafficking globally by facilitating international cooperation to track registered sex offenders as they move or travel from one country to another.
Nearly 18.5 million people live in the CARICOM states. Sex crime is endemic in the Caribbean region, which has been recognized by the United Nations as one of the regions with the highest rates of sex crime globally.
The first step of the partnership is to approach the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to initiate a pilot project establishing the country’s first operational Sex Offender Registry using technology and training provided by OffenderWatch. Trinidad and Tobago became the smallest country in the world to pass a public sex offender’s registry law on Sept. 13, 2019.
OffenderWatch and Zandoli USA say their partnership can enhance the effectiveness of the US International Megan’s Law to End Child Sex Trafficking (HR 515) by implementing similar policies and collaborating registries in partner countries.
The groups say the primary reason sex offenders can enter a country without registering is that the country of origin lacks the ability to notify the destination country of the offender’s intention to move. A new Caribbean unified sex offender registry by OffenderWatch would immediately send notification to other law enforcement agencies upon entering the address of where an offender intends to travel.
CCAC was founded by Camille St. Omer, also vice chair, and includes Gina Maharaj as vice chair.