The Australian government plans to revoke the passports of registered child sex offenders in a significant effort to help combat the booming child sex trade in Asia, officials announced this week.
Under the proposed legislation, about 20,000 people on the country’s sex offender registry would be prohibited from leaving the country. Child sex tourists from Australia are among the most active offenders in the sex trade, particularly in nearby Southeast Asian countries.
“Australia is leading the way when it comes to protecting vulnerable children overseas,” Julie Bishop, Australia’s foreign affairs minister, said at a news conference. “We are ensuring that Australian registered child sex offenders are not able to take part in the growing child sex tourism trade.”
Officials in Australia, who described the plan as a first of its kind worldwide, began to pursue the legislation after noticing an increase in registered sex offenders leaving the country.