Paedophile register: a necessity

Dear Editor
I read with interest your recent report on plans for a paedophile register in Portugal. My first question was “why doesn’t the country already have one?”
In light of all the high-profile child abuse cases, it makes absolute sense. What makes less sense though is the report that parents are to be given access to it “on the understanding that they keep the information to themselves”. How will this be possible?
Surely if any parent learns of a sex offender in the area, he or she will advise other families living nearby. In fact, I would have thought this was a civic duty.
Another thing that has puzzled me is the remark by former President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio that such a register would be a “return to the days of justice by stoning” and “another lurch” from the “protection of people’s dignity”. How can a sex offender have any dignity worth protecting?
These are yet more ‘confusions’ that suggest the authorities in Portugal are still a long way from calling a spade a spade, and dealing with it. Children need protecting at all costs – and certainly their safety merits more concern than that of sex offenders.
M. Middleton