Australian Law Cancels the Passports of Pedophiles
Fr. Shay Cullen
Nothing is more disgusting or repugnant and abhorrent to any human with respect for the rights of children than to see convicted men traveling freely on “child rape holidays” in poor countries. Yet they have always been issued with a passport and allowed to travel abroad on child sex tours by their own governments. No one asked if this was right or wrong until now. Australia has shown the way and it is not before its time with the passing of new legislation banning convicted pedophiles from traveling abroad.
The governments that issue the passports have to be held somewhat accountable for the acts of these convicted pedophiles that have served their sentences but are still considered a danger to children and are supposedly being monitored by the police in their home country. They are listed on the sex offenders’ registry and to escape scrutiny, monitoring, and mandatory reporting they leave their home town for countries where children are poor, abandoned, hungry and vulnerable and the child protection law is seldom implemented. Governments cannot ignore any longer the child sexual abuse done by their citizens while abroad.
The Australian register contains the names of as many as 20,000 individuals considered a threat to children. Of this number, as many as 3,200 are on it for life, they are such a threat. It has been reported that by the end of 2017 there may be as many as another 2,500 added to the register and many of them will want to travel abroad.
Derryn Hinch, Australian Parliamentarian said that as many as 800 men on the sex offender register travelled overseas in 2016 and 300 of them went to countries in Southeast Asia. To be sure the Philippines was one of their destinations. He hailed the recent Australian legislation that has cancelled the passports and banned convicted pedophiles on the sex offender register from leaving Australia on “child rape holidays.” The Australian Minister for finance Mathias Cormann said that at least two convicted pedophiles were leaving Australia everyday.
The idea to ban them traveling was that of actress Rachel Griffiths and now that Australia has passed the world’s first law canceling passports, other countries must do likewise and pass their own laws to protect the children. We at the Preda Foundation are taking up this call and will campaign for the new laws. We encourage all people to e-mail or call their congressional or parliamentarian representative to demand such a law. That is what democracy is, people calling for action to protect the common good and especially poor children.
It was announced also that Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan is working on new laws that will criminalize anyone for arranging to view children being abused live over the internet. It is a criminal act for those who abuse the children but apparently not for those who order it. Soon it will be a grave crime in Australia and so it should be everywhere. People ought to be outraged at the impunity of these pedophiles to travel where they are highly likely to abuse children again.
It can be expected that there will be voices raised against any proposed legislation to deny individuals their universal right to travel even if they have been convicted of a crime. However in the United States convicted people are in some states deprived of their right to vote. Newer legislation in most countries ban the travel of “suspected” citizens going to the Middle Eastern countries where they are presumed, without evidence, that they might join a jihadist or a terrorist fighting group. If a country has done that and detains such suspects, how much more are they justified in making a law to cancel the passports of convicted child abusers?
Anti-terrorist laws have greatly restricted the freedoms of “suspects’ presumed to be about or planning to commit a crime and it is justified when there is sufficient evidence. The convicted pedophiles traveling to poor countries must be considered ‘terrorists to children” and must be restricted in their accessibility to vulnerable children. Their previous crimes are sufficient evidence to justify the presumption.
It is up to the public and every decent human being to do all they can to support such legislation in their own country. The voice of the few will become the voice of the many as it spreads from one to another. How can legislators refuse to consider and support a positive act to protect the children? If we have a democracy, now is the time to use it. That is our civil and moral duty. When we can act to prevent evil and abuse, we have to do it without hesitation or delay. Please share this article with your friends and write to your representatives and ask them to pass a law banning convicted pedophiles from leaving their home country.