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Employment and Privacy on Convictions

Comment 7th August 2010

Respect the privacy of citizens formerly convicted of an offence.

Most criminals are unemployed. And people in work seldom commit an offence. Indeed, there is nothing worse for reforming an offfender than them not being able to find work after their offence.

The EU recognises this and has put into place laws preventing employers discriminating against people convicted of something.

This is to help reform them. It is illegal for an employer, for example, to inquire in a job interview about convictions. It is illegal to request that information on applications.

And it works. Reoffence is scarce after steady employment is found.

But there's one crazy little country "opting out" of this ruling by forcing people to mention convictions on job applications.

In the UK, a former offender remains under State obligation to declare convictions on job applications (except in some cases).

Here's a Eures search on the word "conviction". Only the UK imposes self-destruction on its citizens by forcing many of those convicted of something to remain in unemployment.

http://ec.europa.eu/eures/main.jsp?acro=search&lang=en&catId=2590&parentId=0

Why does this matter?

Crime has been coming down steadily since the early 90s. But we need to get it down faster.

Steady employment commensurate to people's ability gives them the sense of self-worth necessary for them to grow out of crime.

Forcing people to declare convictions is one SURE way to keep them unemployed and swirling around in crime.

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