At present, a court has the power to forbid those found guilty of sexual abuse of children or minors to avoid any further contact with children through their profession or function. This can be the case for a leader in a youth movement or a music teacher for example.
However, Belgian lawmakers are prepared to go a step further, explains MP Carina Van Cauter (Flemish liberal, photo on top): "We think it's important that a judge has the authority to forbid a paedophile to return to the victim's neighbourhood and to impose a ban on living there."
"It's not the victims who have to move, but the offenders after a case of sexual abuse. For victims, the permanent chance of being confronted with the person who abused them sexually, is a though which they can't stand", Ms Van Cauter says. In practice, the offender could be banned from living in a certain municipality.
The bill could be passed later this week as it has the support of the six coalition parties. It was created taking into account the recommendations of the Chamber Commission investigating Sexual Abuse.