A number of countries now use sex offender registers as a policy to improve levels of public protection by ensuring that law enforcement agencies are better informed on the whereabouts of sex offenders in their communities. These policies are designed in part to improve child protection. The paradox is that some people on the register are themselves children and young people who have committed sexual offences. This article examines the development of the UK sex offender register and the registration of children and young people aged 10-17. It looks at attempts to provide alternative forms of registration and implications for the future in terms of children's rights.