Back in June 2017, The Australian Government took the unprecedented step to prevent child sex offenders from travelling overseas. This legislation came into effect in December 2017 and on that day a paedophile was stopped at Sydney Airport and prohibited from leaving the country.
There are an estimated 20,000 registered child sex offenders who are deemed as continuing to present a risk to the community and are therefore subjected to supervision and reporting.
Over 800 registered child sex offenders travelled overseas in 2016 and these are only statistics for paedophiles that have been convicted within the court system.
Why is this legislation so important to the safety of children? Paedophiles are realising that they can travel to other countries in South East Asia, Africa and Europe where they can freely abuse children without consequence. They may find children on the streets make a deal with the family or purchase the services of a child through a trafficker. Overseas these predators feel they are above the law and can get away with this abhorrent crime as they are confident they would not be caught.
The sex tourism industry is growing annually particularly in countries that are cheap overseas tourist destinations. Within the overseas sex industry it is peppered with children that have been sold by their families or lured into prostitution under false pretences. In addition some children simply find themselves selling their bodies to survive, with homelessness and poverty so prevalent in these tourist nations.
We have seen children being traded for sex. Young girls who should playing dolls and riding bikes, are instead paraded in brothels each night ready for selection of a disgusting buyer. Boys who should be kicking a ball or climbing a tree are instead being taken and abused by hideous predators. There is nothing more heartbreaking than the sight of these children being exploited. Yet it happens every day, multiple times a day and their own Governments won’t acknowledge the crimes that are being committed against these children.
What Australia has done with the passport ban is take responsibility for the children of the world, just as every Government should. Australia’s stand and legislation against child sex tourism will not stop this industry but it will make a difference and will send shockwaves amongst the paedophile community.
What needs to happen next is that other Governments need to follow suit and act quickly. The more countries that put these passports bans in place, the more children that can be saved. It is also a sign of Governments standing up and saying that they are against child sex tourism and will not facilitate their citizens participating in these depraved crimes against children by allowing these criminals the luxury of having travel documents.
For those who are not in Australia and are reading this, we urge you to write your local politician and ask them to discuss with their peers a law that will stop convicted sex offenders travelling overseas.
The only way that we will ever stop these predators abusing precious children is if we all unite. Start the conversation, lobby our politicians and collectively all of us take a stand and say no more. No more children being abused and no more children being sold!
Well done to the Australian Government for bringing this legislation into effect so swiftly and enforcing it on the very first day that it was law. Let’s hope the rest of the world are watching and taking note!