Introducing POMA (Protection of Minors Application) – Ensuring Legal Compliance for Educational Institutions.
What is POMA?
POMA (Protection of Minors Application) serves as a valuable tool for educational institutions to ensure legal compliance in relation to offenses committed against minors. By engaging our law firm to facilitate the court application process, institutions can request specific information to verify if employees or potential employees have been involved in such offenses.
Educational institutions or entities refers to any institution, establishment, or organization that offers or arranges services or activities involving the education, care, custody, welfare, or upbringing of minors. This includes, but is not limited to, church schools, private schools, childcare centres, play centres, and academies (such as those for dance, music, sports, etc.)
Once the application is filed, Maltese court may grant authorisation to the institution to have the information disclosed to it in writing about whether the employee or potential employee was convicted with any offence committed on a minor which would be a crime punishable under the Maltese Criminal Code.
In the event that the entity hires a listed individual without first verifying their status in the register, the employment of said individual must be promptly terminated. Furthermore, the person responsible for the hiring will be considered to have committed an offense, which carries a potential punishment of imprisonment for a period of three months to four years and/or a fine ranging from €2,500 to €50,000.
Additionally, as stated in the legislation, if a director, manager, secretary, or any other official becomes aware that one of their employees has committed a crime and fails to report it to the police, they too will be deemed guilty of an offense. The consequences for this offense also include the possibility of the potential punishment above indicated.
Organizations will be granted a one-year window to apply to the Court to verify whether their employees and even volunteers are listed in the register.
Should an individual have valid grounds for requesting the removal of their name from the register, they will have the opportunity to file an application with the Criminal Court.
The duration of the listing will vary based on the gravity of the crime committed, and in cases where the offender was a minor at the time, the duration will be halved.
Contact our firm today for more information about POMA.