Its no secret that I have been a very strong advocate for protecting children against sexual abuse over the last 14 years, particularly from Australians who travel overseas to abuse children.
After many years of protesting to the Australian Government that they were failing in their duty to protect foreign children from Australian child sex offenders, I was happy, but not totally satisfied, when I heard that the Australian Government had legislated laws that would require all registered child sex offenders in Australia to advise the authorities of their plans prior to travelling overseas.
Yesterday, an Australian child sex offender who was registered on the Australian National Sex Registry, was stopped from travelling out of Australia when he was detected at the SMART Passport counter at Sydney Airport for breaching the registry rules and not advising authorities of his travel plans. Read Article Here
Im extremely happy that the law has worked on this occasion and potentially prevented a predator from travelling overseas and abusing children, however I don’t think the Australian Government has done enough to guarantee that one or more of these predators still wont slip through the cracks and sexually abuse children overseas.
In my opinion, if a person is registered on the Australian National Child Sex Registry, then their privilege to have an Australian passport should be revoked, meaning that the sex offender cannot travel overseas for any purpose as they wont have a passport.
As a former Victorian police officer and a person who has been investigating child sex offenders in Asia for many years, I know first hand that child sex offenders from Australia are not monitored or surveilled by Australian Police whilst the sex offender is in a foreign country nor do the local police of the country the sex offender is travelling to monitor or surveil the sex offender whilst he/she is in country – unless there has been a specific request from police to police agency (which rarely occurs).
So knowing this and knowing that Australian child sex offenders can still obtain a passport and can still travel overseas if they notify the Australian authorities and give some valid reason why they are travelling, what is stopping the child sex offender from sexually abusing a child once they are off Australian soil and in a country with very lax law enforcement.
There is also the very real possibility that human error will occur and the Australian SMART Passport system or Australian Immigration officials will not identify that a registered sex offender is travelling out of Australia and hasn’t obeyed the new legislated laws.
The reality is a child sex offender does not have an illness that can be cured and they cannot be rehabilitated; a child sex offender will always be sexually attracted to children and as such will always be an extremely high risk of re-offending.
I believe that its the duty of the Australian Government to protect children in foreign countries from Australian sexual predators and do so without any chance of mistakes or any risk to children. And even though I applaud the Australian Government for legislating the new laws, allowing Australian registered child sex offenders to still obtain a passport opens the door to risk and its not acceptable.