Australia Plans 'World-First' Move Against Pedophiles
'The existing passport legislation was not working'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2017 7:36 AM CDT
   (Getty Images/miwa_in_oz)

(Newser) – "No country has ever taken such decisive and strong action to stop its citizens from going overseas ... to abuse kids." So declares an Australian official in discussing a bold "world-first" plan that would see passports denied to convicted pedophiles who had served their time but remained a registered sex offender in Australia. The BBC offers some math: About 20,000 such people currently reside in Australia, and roughly 800 of them went abroad in 2016. A government press release explains that more than a third of those who left did so without securing the necessary permission, making "it clear the existing passport legislation was not working."

Officials say the measure will put "a stop to child sex offenders travelling to vulnerable countries where they are out of sight and reach of Australian law." As for those vulnerable countries, CNN reports child-sex tourism is rampant in about two dozen nations, and children in some Southeast Asian nations are particularly at risk. That was the case with Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis, notes the BBC. The Australian was in 2016 sentenced to 15 years after being found guilty of sexually abusing 11 Indonesian girls. The Australian Associated Press reports the measures will be introduced this week in parliament, but Sky News notes government MPs have "signed-off" on them. (No one stopped this extreme pedophile—for 42 years.)

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