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Minister seeks tougher rules for paedophiles

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga wants to expand the employment restrictions for convicted paedophiles.

She will soon make a recommendation to her cabinet colleagues, she told the Neue Luzerner Zeitung newspaper on Saturday.

Sommaruga said she was “deeply shocked” by the Bern case involving at least 122 victims. A 54-year-old Swiss man has admitted to sexually abusing disabled children and adults in care homes over a 29-year period.

“My first question was: Could this have been prevented?” the minister said in an interview with the Lucerne-based newspaper. She noted that everyone involved would have to examine the chain of events in detail.

The current law prevents convicted sex offenders from resuming a profession – but only if they committed their crimes while on the job. This leaves a loophole for people involved in criminal activities during their free time.

In general, Sommaruga said that sex offenders should be kept well away from minors. That would also include involvement with clubs or groups that organise activities for young people.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR