Sex offender who tried to leave country given ‘world’s first’ paedo travel ban
A paedophile was prevented from leaving Australia under the ‘world’s first’ travel ban for convicted child molesters.
The man was stopped from flying overseas from Sydney Airport on Wednesday.
The new laws were created in order to keep Australian pedophiles from traveling to Southeast Asia for sex tourism.
They had often taken inexpensive vacations to nearby Southeast Asian and Pacific island countries to abuse children.
‘This is world first legislation … Australians will no longer be able to prey on children in our region,’ Justice Minister Michael Keenan said.
He added the laws were the most comprehensive of their kind in the world.
The rules prevent 20,000 convicted pedophiles listed on the Australian child sex offender register from leaving the country except for specific purposes approved by law enforcement agencies.
If they are caught trying to leave the country without registering their plans with government authorities they can be jailed for up to five years.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop added: ‘We are aware they 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.’
Last year 320 convicted sex offenders left the country without prior approval.
Under the new legislation paedophiles would have their passports taken away if they broke the law.
The register contains 3,200 serious offenders who will be banned from travel for life.
If less serious offenders follow the rules for several years would become eligible to have their passports renewed.
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