Ethiopia joins South Africa to launch its Sexual Violence Registration System

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April 16, 2024
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2 min read
Sexual Violence Ethiopia
  • The Ethiopian government is developing a sexual violence registration system to prevent and respond to sexual violence against women and children. 
  • This development comes as the country faces significant challenges in prosecuting gender-based violence. 
  • According to a report, more than one-third (37%) of Ethiopian women face the issue, with other studies estimating that nearly one in every three women will experience physical/sexual intimate violence or non-partner sexual assault in their lifetime.

The report also stated that many communities tolerate violent acts, allowing perpetrators to feel unaccountable for their crimes and continue to violate other women. These practices also hinder women from accessing the services they need. 

With this new development, sex offenders will be held accountable even after they have served their sentences. The system will also exclude registered sex offenders from working in schools, orphanages, and other children’s institutions.

The system will be developed with approximately 10 million birr ($176,000) from various institutions, and it is planned to include three types of pages, one of which will be public. 

Per Statista, gender-based violence against girls and women was more prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018 than in Northern Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than one-fifth of girls and women have experienced physical or sexual violence from current or former partners. In North Africa, the share was nearly 15%. Both regions exceeded the global average of 12.5 per cent.

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This development is not limited to Ethiopia. South Africa passed the National Register for Sex Offenders Act in 2007, which keeps track of the names of those found guilty of sexual offences against children and mentally disabled people.

Employers in the public or private sectors, such as schools, crèches, and hospitals, can ensure that the person being hired is suitable for working with children or the mentally disabled.  

Unlike Ethiopia, where the register will have a public page, South Africa's is private and confidential, and anyone found guilty of sexual offences against children or mentally disabled people is added to the register.

Other African countries, including Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana, have also introduced this system but at different levels. 


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