The Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and the Minister for Justice Michael Keenan announced that the Australian Government will develop measures to stop child sex offenders from travelling overseas to commit criminal acts against vulnerable children.

The Government’s new measures will be developed in conjunction with Victorian Senator Derryn Hinch and will aim to stop any Australians involved in the international child sex tourism trade.

Children must be protected and perpetrators brought to justice, whether a crime occurs in Australia or is committed or facilitated by an Australian overseas.

Under passport legislation, law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities are already able to request the Foreign Minister to cancel sex offenders’ passports or refuse to issue passports. The Government has already cancelled and refused to issue a number under those provisions.

The Government will work with Senator Hinch to develop measures to stop child sex offenders from travelling overseas to commit crimes. This will build on the work already underway with the States and Territories through the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council.

In the past year, the Australian Federal Police has advised that approximately 800 registered sex offenders have travelled overseas with around 40 per cent to South East Asian countries.

Commonwealth, State and Territory law enforcement agencies will continue to work together to bring offenders to justice.

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