Registered child sex offenders to have passports cancelled under new laws

REGISTERED child sex offenders will no longer be allowed to travel overseas under tough new laws in Australia.

Of the 20,000 registered child sex offenders currently living in Australia, almost 800 of them left the country last year and as many as 40 percent of them did so without informing the appropriate authorities.

From today, it will be a Commonwealth offence for any registered child sex offender to travel outside of Australia without seeking approval from law enforcement agencies.


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Offenders will also have their passports cancelled at the request of State or Territory authorities to help protect vulnerable children overseas from child sex tourism.

In a joint statement released on Wednesday morning, Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop and Minister for Justice Michael Keenan MP both welcomed the laws.

“Australia has up to 20,000 registered child sex offenders who have served their sentences but are subject to reporting obligations that help to protect the community,” the statement read.

“For too long, these predators have travelled overseas undetected, including to countries where weaker laws mean they have opportunities to commit heinous crimes.

“Almost 800 registered child sex offenders travelled overseas last year, and about 40 percent did so without informing authorities of their travel. This will now stop.”

The tough new measures deliver on the Government’s commitment to protecting vulnerable children, whether in Australia or overseas, and are the result of close cooperation with State and Territory law enforcement agencies.