According to various reports, Australia plans to revoke passports from those convicted of pedophilia. The laws will be aimed at thwarting such offenders from traveling overseas and engaging in similar crimes in areas of tourism.
The Australian reported that the law would affect around 20,000 registered offenders that have already served their time, but remain under supervision and have to report to a higher authority.
“This new legislation represents the toughest crackdown on child sex tourism by any government, anywhere,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said, adding that Australia is “determined to prevent the sexual exploitation of vulnerable young children overseas.”
The law would inhibit child sex tourism or cases in which pedophiles visit ‘vulnerable countries’ where children would be at a higher risk for abuse.
According to ECPAT International, which is a Bangkok-based non-profit group that aims to fight against the sexual exploitation of children defines child sex tourism as “the exchange of cash, clothes, food or some other form of consideration to a child or to a third party for sexual contact.”
Additionally, newly registered offenders would also be prohibited from obtaining a passport. The Associated Press reported that 2,500 newly convicted pedophiles are added to the sex offender registry every year.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop explains, “This new legislation represents the toughest crackdown on child sex tourism by any government, anywhere,” She added that the nation is, “determined to prevent the sexual exploitation of vulnerable young children overseas.”
Derryn Hinch, the independent MP that campaigned for the crackdown stated that pedophiles were “not going there (to South-East Asia) for the sun.”
“You go to Bali, you go to Phnom Penh, you go to Siem Reap, and you see these middle-aged Australian men there, Caucasian men, with a young local kid – they are not there to get a suntan,” he said.
“These depraved criminals preyed on vulnerable kids, and statistically, we know, many of them will do it again given the opportunity.”
In the past few years, information has come to light exposing the fact that many foreigners, including numerous Australians, have been traveling to countries like Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines to prey on young children. Just last year in Indonesia, Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis, a 71-year-old Australian was jailed for 15 years after he was caught sexually assaulting 11 girls aged between 7-17.
The proposed law was unveiled this past Tuesday and will be introduced to Parliament this week. In 2016, the United States passed similar legislation dubbed Megan’s Law, which requires the passports of American sex offenders to be stamped.