Just as Canadian parents would be horrified to learn that a convicted sex offender had moved into their neighbourhood, so too would parents of children in other countries.
And they would rightly want to know if Canadian-born child sex offenders were making their way out of our country for a visit somewhere else.
So we welcome new legislation from the federal government that would force convicted sex offenders who want to travel outside the country to alert Canadian authorities before their departure.
If the new legislation is passed, the plan would also step up information sharing between police and border officials to keep track of sex offenders. As The Canadian Press reported this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised a national, publicly accessible database of high-risk child sex offenders who have been the subject of public notifications.
As Canada’s travelling abroad website states, Canada’s Criminal Code specifically prohibits child sex tourism, and has so since 1997. Many other countries have passed similar child sex tourism laws, and the sexual abuse and exploitation of children is a criminal offence around the world.
“Just as we must protect Canadian children, we should do what we can to protect children abroad,” Harper said.
In our opinion, all children have the right to be safe from sexual predators. We hope this particular initiative will help ensure that Canadians who are convicted of this crime don’t repeat their acts outside this country.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 19, 2013