30 May 2017

Australian paedophiles to have passports cancelled

5:16 pm on 30 May 2017

The Australian government is moving to strip convicted paedophiles of their passports in a crackdown on child sex tourism.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Legislation will be introduced to parliament this month, making it illegal for registered offenders to leave or attempt to leave the country.

The federal government is hailing the plan as a world-first.

The new law would make it a criminal offence for convicted sex offenders to leave Australia without permission from a "competent authority".

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the offenders would have their passports cancelled to stop them travelling overseas to offend again.

She said last year almost 800 registered child sex offenders travelled overseas from Australia - often to Asia - in breach of their obligations to notify the police they were travelling.

The move followed several recent high-profile cases of child exploitation overseas.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan described the laws as "the strongest crackdown on child-sex tourism ever", saying no other country had taken such decisive and strong action to stop its citizens from going overseas to abuse kids.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has previously described child sex tourists as "some of the worst grubs you can imagine".