Australia on Tuesday (30/05) announced that it will introduce new laws to prevent registered child sex offenders from traveling overseas.
In a statement, the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the new legislation is a world’s first, and will prohibit registered child sex offenders from leaving Australia or holding Australian passports, with the aim of protecting vulnerable children from child sex tourism.
In 2016, nearly 800 registered child sex offenders traveled overseas from Australia. One-third did so without permission, revealing the inadequacy of existing passport legislation in the country.
The Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said there are an estimated 20,000 registered child sex offenders in Australia. These numbers include “those who have served their sentences but are subject to supervision and reporting obligations due to their ongoing risk” to the community.
“The new legislation will impose higher standards than existing rules, putting a stop to child sex offenders traveling to vulnerable countries where they are out of sight and reach of Australian law,” the statement said.