Australia has planned to prevent convicted paedophiles and child sex offenders from travelling overseas under the country's tough new laws. The officials deemed the law as "world's first" stating that the passports of the offenders will be cancelled to prevent them from committing the crime again abroad.
The legislation will reportedly be introduced in the parliament this month, making it illegal for registered offenders to leave or attempt to leave the country. The decision was made as a part of a crackdown on child-sex tourism in the country.
"The new laws will prohibit registered child sex offenders from leaving Australia or holding Australian passports," Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
"Last year alone, almost 800 registered child sex offenders travelled overseas from Australia."
The minister said that many of the offenders generally go to developing countries in Asia, and breach their obligations to notify the police that they are travelling. Reports state that half of these child sex offenders are considered to be of medium-high or very-high risk of reoffending.
The move by the lawmakers have come after several high-profile cases of child exploitation overseas, including by Australian Robert Ellis. Ellis was was convicted last year for sexually abusing 11 girls from Indonesia in one of Bali's resort islands.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the new laws were "the strongest crackdown on child-sex tourism ever".
"No country has ever taken such decisive and strong action to stop its citizens from going overseas, often to vulnerable countries, to abuse kids. So this is absolutely a world first," he said.
According to the Justice Minister's estimates, the Australian government will deny passports to around 20,000 people who have served their sentences for paedophilia, but were still being monitored under the Australian National Child Offender Register.
Reports state that around 2,500 new cases are expected to be added every year.