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Israel: Prevention of Employment of Sex Offenders in Specific Institutions

(June 20, 2011) On June 6, 2011, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed the Prevention of Employment of Sex Offenders in Specific Institutions (Amendment No. 7) Law, 5771-2011. The Amendment Law adds the new category of “helpless persons” to groups protected by the Law. It also prohibits the employment, by any place, institution, or business where “helpless persons” either stay or receive services, of persons convicted of sex offenses committed at the age of majority. These places include organizations that provide services to “helpless persons,” including transportation services, as part of their activities, as well as hospitals and geriatric and rehabilitative departments. The Law defines “a helpless person” as “a person who, due to disease, physical or mental disability, or retardation, or for any other reason, cannot care for his livelihood, health, or welfare.” (Prevention of Employment of Sex Offenders in Specific Institutions (AmendmentNo. 7) Law, 5771-2011 [in Hebrew], the Knesset website (last visited June 17, 2011).)

According to the amendment, a committee of experts is authorized to provide an exemption from the above prohibition if it has concluded, after considering an evaluation of the potential dangerousness of the applicant, that he does not pose a threat to “helpless persons.” In accordance with the original Law, such a committee is appointed by the Minister of Justice in consultation with the Minister of Labor and Welfare and is composed of a magistrate court judge and two experts on sex offender behavior and treatment. (Id.; Prevention of Employment of Sex Offenders in Specific Institutions Law [in Hebrew], 5761-2001, SEFER HAHUKIM [Book of Laws, Official Gazette], No. 1804, 509 (2001).)