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Tom Malinowski lobbied against the sex offender registry.

Malinowski had the title of Washington advocacy director at the Human Rights Watch and was responsible for foreign policy, not domestic issues.

Malinowski had the title of Washington advocacy director at the Human Rights Watch and was responsible for foreign policy, not domestic issues.The National Republican Congressional Committee released an ad on Sept. 15, 2020, where they claimed that Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) lobbied against the sex offender registry in the United States.

This claim refers to his time at the Human Rights Watch (HRW), where from 2001 to 2013, Malinowski was a lobbyist for HRW. Malinowski registered as a lobbyist on behalf of the victims of genocide in Darfur and Myanmar, and he was mainly involved in foreign affairs.

Pages 2 and 3 of the 2006 lobbying form list dozens of issues, including “sex offender legislation.” “Malinowski is listed, and so is Jennifer Daskal. Daskal, a professor at American University, said in an interview that she was the HRW lobbyist for U.S. domestic issues while Malinowski handled the foreign policy side. “I was not working in Darfur,” she said. “He was not working these issues,” referring to the sex offender registry,” reported the Washington Post.

Emma Daly, an HRW spokeswoman, also confirmed that Malinowski was not involved in legislation related to the sex offender registry. “HRW’s job titles can be a bit confusing, but the Washington director role, which was Malinowski’s role, covers foreign policy,” Daly said. “Jen Daskal worked for the U.S. program, which focuses on U.S. domestic issues.”

Furthermore, Washington Post reported that Daly said “HRW advocated for laws that better protect children and the public by reforming sex offense registries and focusing law enforcement resources to tackle those most at risk of offending. The ad wrongly portrays this position as helping ‘predators hide in the shadows’ and otherwise being in favor of sex offenses. That’s false.”

The ad claims HRW was “strongly opposed” to a national sex offender registry. But the letter signed by Daskal did not object to creating one.

Instead, the letter said HRW opposed the bill because the language was so sweeping that it included low-level or misdemeanor offenders, such as people charged with public urination, who were attempting to reintegrate into the community after serving their sentences. “Registration requirements put these individuals at risk of retaliation and discrimination and make it extremely difficult for these individuals to find employment, housing, and to rebuild their lives,” Daskal wrote.

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