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Australian Politicians/ Contacts
Seize Paedophiles' Passport
A national child welfare group wants the Federal Government to
confiscate the passports of convicted paedophiles to prevent
them from travelling overseas.
The Government has confirmed a number of child-sex offenders
attempted to visit Indonesia and Thailand to prey on children
affected by the Asian tsunami.
They were on the national child-sex offender register and had
to inform police they were planning to travel overseas.
It is understood the information was forwarded to Asian authorities
who refused to allow the paedophiles into Thailand and Indonesia.
The national director of Child Wise, Bernadette McMenamin, says the
register is reliant on other countries turning Australian paedophiles away.
She says the Federal Government should immediately cancel the passports
of paedophiles on the register.
"There are some child-sex offenders that are too high-risk to be let out
of the country," Ms McMenamin said.
"It's an absolutely radical move but it's like no other crime," she added.
"The recidivism rate is extremely high and many of these individuals have
30, 40 or 50 years of offending against children."
Yesterday, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Chris Ellison, said the
Government and Australian Federal Police were working closely with Asian
authorities to stop paedophiles from travelling to the region.
"It is of concern to me that paedophiles might use the current environment
in Indonesia and Thailand, in fact the region, to prey upon
children," Senator Ellison said.
"Australia must do everything possible to stop what is an
"We certainly are concerned in relation to the vulnerable status
of some areas of the region that paedophiles might want to exploit the situation."
Call To Cancel Paedophiles' Passports
A child rights group demanded the passports of recidivist
paedophiles be cancelled to stop them targeting children
left defenceless by the Boxing Day tsunami.
The Child Wise group said cancelling passports of repeat
offenders would end any chance for paedophiles to enter
countries where thousands of children have been left orphaned.
About 20 convicted paedophiles trying to travel to Indonesia
and Thailand following the tsunami have been stopped, caught
by new rules introduced with a national child sex offender register.
Under the register, the offenders have to tell police if they
plan to travel overseas.
Some countries, including Indonesia and Thailand, ban convicted
sex offenders from entering their countries.
Child Wise director Bernadette McMenamin said authorities knew
paedophiles would be targeting children in countries hit by the tsunami.
When countries experienced natural disasters or military crises,
paedophiles exploited that instability, she said.
"Post-tsunami we expected that a lot of Australian child sex offenders
would target these countries."
Ms McMenamin was happy the new child sex register had worked but said
more could be done to stop Australian paedophiles from abusing children
overseas and suggested the government introduce a travel ban.
"We do think that some offenders are too high risk and they shouldn't be
allowed to travel overseas," she said.
"I have checked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and they said they
do have the power to remove passports from people who they believe will
harm others overseas."
Child sex offender registers have been set up in NSW, Victoria, Queensland,
Western Australia and the Northern Territory and are being prepared in the
other states and territories.
The state registers are linked to the national register, and police believe
there will be 15,000 paedophiles listed by the end of the year.
Justice Minister Chris Ellison said the Australian Federal Police, federal
governments and governments across the region were working together to stop paedophiles.
"It is of concern to me that the paedophiles might use the current environment
in Indonesia and Thailand and indeed the region to prey upon children," he told reporters.
"Australia must do everything possible to stop what is an abominable activity."
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