Hundreds of child sex offenders are flying abroad to prey on children without fear of prosecution because Australian laws designed to stop them are failing.
Australians head to Bali for sick sex trips
And Bali, the country’s favourite holiday spot, is now overwhelmingly the No.1 destination for paedophiles, according to new figures.
In the first two months of this year, 195 of the 14,300 people on the Australian National Child Offender Register went abroad.
Yet the Australian Federal Police concede the whereabouts of paedophiles holidaying in foreign countries are not being properly tracked.
Just one offender has been charged since law reforms were introduced in 2010 to clamp down on child sex tourism. It has prompted those fighting child sex tourism to call for convicted paedophiles to be banned from travelling.
An Australian Federal Police spokeswoman said in some cases local authorities were alerted only when a paedophile was entering their country, leaving it to undermanned and technology-deprived local authorities to protect their children.
Chief executive of Australian child protection charity Child Wise, Bernadette McMenamin, said sex offenders should not be allowed to travel if the Australian Government cannot guarantee they will be monitored.
“If we can’t track them, then they are too much of a danger to be allowed overseas,” she said. “We can’t just leave it up to local authorities – they’re not specialised in dealing with sexual offenders. Someone can enter Denpasar and disappear into the wilderness.”
Indonesia’s Centre for Study and Child Protection chair, Ahmad Sofian, said it was disturbing that Bali had become the hot spot for child sex offenders from overseas.
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