Bulgaria’s cabinet has approved proposed changes to the Penal Code that will enable courts to bar those convicted of sexual violence against children and child pornography offences from certain public offices and from exercising certain professions and activities.
A government media service statement on December 3 said that the amendments were transposing European directives on combating sexual violence against children and child pornography.
The possibility for a court to deprive convicted offenders from holding certain jobs was intended to prevent these offenders carrying out activities that involved contact with children, the statement said.
The statement did not list the public offices and occupations from which offenders could be barred.
The amendments will be tabled in the National Assembly for debate.
The 2011 EU directive says that, “Where the danger posed by the offenders and the possible risks of repetition of the offences make it appropriate, convicted offenders should be temporarily or permanently prevented from exercising at least professional activities involving direct and regular contacts with children.
“Employers when recruiting for a post involving direct and regular contact with children are entitled to be informed of existing convictions for sexual offences against children entered in the criminal record, or of existing disqualifications.
“For the purposes of this Directive, the term ‘employers’ should also cover persons running an organisation that is active in volunteer work related to the supervision and/or care of children involving direct and regular contact with children.
“The manner in which such information is delivered, such as for example access via the person concerned, and the precise content of the information, the meaning of organised voluntary activities and direct and regular contact with children should be laid down in accordance with national law.”
(Photo of the Bulgarian cabinet building: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)