Ireland Considers Legislation to Restrict International Travel by Convicted Pedophiles

Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan; Sr. Mary Ryan, R.S.M., Mercy Effort for Child Protection against Trafficking in the Hospitality Sector
(MECPATHS); Fr. Shay Cullen, S.S.C.; and Aisling Murray, Volunteer Coordinator of MECPATHS.

By Irish America Staff
June / July 2018

T.D.s and Senators have been urged to support a new bill – the Sex Offenses (Amendment) Bill 2018 – introduced in Dáil Éireann by Maureen O’Sullivan, T.D., which proposes to restrict the foreign travel of convicted pedophiles. If enacted, Ireland would be the first country in the E.U. to curtail overseas travel by convicted child sex abusers. Australia has already introduced such legislation.

Addressing a press conference in Dublin, Irish Columban missionary Fr. Shay Cullen, who has ministered in the Philippines since 1969, said the bill, if enacted, “will help to curtail child abuse sex tourism and protect children in countries like the Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia where child protection laws are weak or not enforced.”

“The aim of this legislation is to protect the vulnerable in those parts of the world where sadly there is little or no child protection. In our globalized world where travel is readily available I believe we must do all we can in Ireland to ensure that our citizens who have been convicted of child sexual abuse, should they be deemed a risk, do not have a free pass to travel to other jurisdictions to abuse children,” O’Sullivan said.

Cullen pointed out that about 4.5 million children are trafficked globally each year in a business that is estimated at $32 billion. He said that in the Philippines there are few reliable statistics of the number of children abused, but UNICEF estimates it at 60,000 annually. ♦

 

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