News and Commentary

FIRST TIME ANYWHERE: Australia Stops Sex Offender From Leaving Country

On Monday, for the first time anywhere, a sex offender was barred from leaving the country by law, as an Australian sex offender was stopped from leaving the country.

Australian government ministers described the incident as a “world first.” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop revealed the Monday occurrence to reporters at a press conference that was designed to alert the press that the law had been implemented.

The sex offender who was at Sydney Airport was stopped by authorities at the SmartGate passport check. Bishop would not reveal what the sex offender’s destination was. She noted, “(Child sex offenders) have a high propensity to re-offend if they are in a country where they are not monitored and where child sex exploitation is rampant. These laws are designed to protect children at home and abroad.”

Bishop could have been referring to Thailand and the Philippines; according to ECPAT International:

More than any other region, Asia, particularly Southeast Asia and certain countries in South Asia, has long been the target of child sex tourists. Thailand and the Philippines, partly due to their existing “sex industries”, have been frequently associated with child sex tourism. … Cambodia and Vietnam are said to have suffered an influx of child sex tourists as a result of increased efforts to combat the issue in Thailand.

Referring to the Philippines, ECPAT noted, “Estimates of CSEC and CST vary from there being 100,000 child victims of prostitution in the country as a whole, to the nearly 20,000 child victims of prostitution in the Metro Manila area alone.”

Bishop said roughly 800 registered child sex offenders on the National Child Sex Register exited from Australia in 2016; 40% of them did not inform authorities beforehand.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the new law was the “most comprehensive crackdown on child sex tourism” ever, adding, “This is world first legislation … Australians will no longer be able to prey on children in our region.”

Australian Senator Derryn Hinch, who championed the new law, celebrated the stopping of the sex offender as a”proud moment,” adding,

A convicted child sex offender turned back at Sydney Airport today under new passport ban law that I got passed this year. Those child rape holidays for Aussie deviates are over.