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Don’t Let Sex Abusers Travel

Wednesday 14 December 2005

Don’t Let Sex Abusers Travel

Today the New Zealand Herald reported that Lauren Kiredor Flint (a New Zealander) was convicted of committing a lewd act on a child in San Diego, California yesterday. He was sentenced to a year in prison followed by deportation. He will have to register as a sex offender on his return to New Zealand.

Jane Foster, National Director of ECPAT says “His 14 year old victim was able to protect herself and evade his attempted kidnap by using martial arts skills and hiding in a school. This young woman was resourceful and reached safety. Unfortunately not all those approached by men seeking sex with under age children escape.

Flints’ registration as a sex offender in New Zealand should ensure authorities are aware of his whereabouts and movements in New Zealand. He was convicted of an offence overseas and should face the additional penalty of travel restrictions to protect children in other countries. The New Zealand Customs Service should be able to restrict the travel of registered sex offenders.”

Beyond Borders Inc. the Canadian ECPAT affiliate released a legal fact sheet on travel restrictions placed on convicted sex offenders. Beyond Borders report that; “Preventative measures were recently adopted in Australia and the United Kingdom.

In Australia front-line passport officials are given specified guidance to make a refusal/cancellation of passport request to a federal Minister if they suspect, among other things, that the person in question might endanger a child abroad. In the U.K. courts are given the authority to impose a “foreign travel order” upon a previously convicted sex offender under certain circumstances, namely where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the offender will sexually harm a child abroad.

These orders last for a maximum of six months, and can be renewed. They prohibit the offender from whichever of the following is specified in the order: travelling to specific countries, travelling anywhere but to specific countries named in the order, and travelling anywhere outside the United Kingdom.

In addition, convicted sex offenders in the United Kingdom who plan to travel abroad for 3 days or more are required to notify police 7 days in advance of their departure with specifics such as their departure date, the destination country, and transportation and accommodation details.” Such preventive measures are not enacted here in New Zealand.

Jane Foster says, “Men who seek out and sexually molest children do not respect international borders. It’s time our New Zealand Customs authorities recognise the threat they pose and restrict their movements”. ECPAT NZ is part of a global network committed to end sexual exploitation of children.

ENDS


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