Child sex abuse is an issue that raises much social concern, and in some societies a sex offenders' register is used as a key measure to combat this problem. Drawing heavily upon a discourse of child protection, the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong has recently suggested that such a mechanism should be implemented in Hong Kong. This article examines how the protection of children has in this case overridden the interests of other social groups and processes, whilst not necessarily reducing risks faced by children. What this proposal would achieve, however, is a false sense of control and security for both parents and policy makers. An effective response to child sexual abuse must include community education and rehabilitation provision for offenders, and must avoid over-reliance on 'protection-oriented' measures such as a sex offenders' register.