Australia is gearing up for a face-off with convicted pedophiles who want passports to travel outside the country. The country plans to keep those convicted of the crime from leaving their shores by denying them passports under a “world-first” plan proposed by the government.
The plan would stringently prohibit registered sex offenders from leaving the country.
Michael Keenan – the Justice Minister said this stance would affect about 20,000 offenders who had completed their terms but are still under monitoring by relevant authorities.
The government however clarified that sex offenders would be able to apply for passports if they were no longer on the list.
According to Keenan:
“No country has ever taken such decisive and strong action to stop its citizens from going overseas, often to vulnerable countries, to abuse kids,”
It is worthy to note that 800 registered sex offenders traveled overseas from Australia in 2016, according to the government, while 3,200 sex offenders would never be eligible for passports because of their status of being under constant monitoring for the rest of their lives.
It is worrisome that child sex tourism is a way of life for some. This prompted the decision by the government, with the Justice Minister – Keenan referring to it as an “absolutely abhorrent crime” and rightly so.
The new world-first plan was agreed upon with independent Senator Derryn Hinch, a long time campaigner for tougher laws to deal with sex offenders.
Derryn Hinch is of the opinion that the said proposal would protect children.
“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,”
it can be recalled that in 2016, 69-year-old Australian man Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis was convicted of sexually abusing 11 girls in Indonesia and was jailed for 15 years.
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