The Australian government is planning to deny convicted paedophile passports. This would even apply to all registered sex offenders who had completed their sentences but are still being monitored.
The Australian government introduced a proposal to deny convicted paedophiles the ability to get a passport. According to Justice Minister Michael Keenan, this would affect approximately 20,000 registered sex offenders who had finished serving their sentences but are still under probation by authorities.
If they were no longer on the list, paedophiles would, in theory, be able to apply for a passport.
“No country has ever taken such decisive and strong action to stop its citizens from going overseas, often to vulnerable countries, to abuse kids,” said Mr Keenan. He said such a crime against children is an “absolutely abhorrent crime.”
Dsrryn Hinch, an independent senator who helped come up with the proposal also said: “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.”
Julie Biship, the Australian Foreign Minister, said: “This new legislation represents the toughest crackdown on child sex tourism by any government anywhere.” She also adds that Australia is “determined to prevent the sexual exploitation of vulnerable young children overseas.”
Sex Offenders in Australia
According to the Australian government, in just 2016, around 800 sex offenders travelled from Australia. Half of those went to South East Asia, a region Australia considers to be particularly vulnerable to child sexual abuse. In that year, one Australian man named Robert Ellis was sentenced to 15 years in jail for sexually abusing eleven girls in Indonesia.
The government has also mentioned that around 3,200 registered sex offenders are currently being monitored for life, and so would never be allowed to own a passport.