Law tightened on employing sex offenders

A new bill passed in the final parliamentary session in Iceland last week expands upon existing legislation by prohibiting sex offenders from being employed in kindergartens and elementary schools, reports Iceland Review.

Submitted by the Minister for Education, Thorgerdur Gunnarsdottir, the law follows legislation passed last March that prohibited sex offenders from working in youth associations with children under 18 years old.

Those applying for jobs at elementary schools and kindergartens will now have to submit a criminal record.

Assistant to the Minister of Education Steingrimur Sigurgeirsson said the bill represents a big step in legislation. Although the bill does not apply to secondary schools, Sigurgeirsson said future changes are likely.

“At this point it was not considered necessary to go as far with secondary schools, though its necessity is obviously open for discussion,” Sigurgeirsson said.

As the law stands, any employee of an elementary school or kindergarten will face immediate suspension if convicted of a sexual violation.