International Megans Law Moves Forward in US House
The U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs approved legislation Wednesday that would establish an international database of registered sex offenders and traffickers – an international version of the U.S. “Megan’s Law” – which its sponsors say would greatly assist authorities worldwide in preventing the exploitation of children by international sex tourists. (and would also ban registered sex offenders from traveling outside the U.S.)
The measure, sponsored by U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, is called “the International Megan’s Law of 2010” and would establish mandatory reporting requirements for convicted sex traffickers and registered sex offenders against children who intend to travel overseas.
The House committee cleared the legislation to go to the floor of the full U.S. House of Representatives in a unanimous voice vote.
Currently the fight against keeping sex predators from exploiting children abroad depends on cooperation between national governments and international police agencies, such as between Interpol and U.S. border and customs officers.
But Smith, a longtime human rights leader and author of anti human-trafficking legislation in 2000, 2003 and 2005, said international cooperation is largely “ad hoc” and leaves wide gaps for sexual offenders to travel to and from international destinations largely unnoticed and anonymous. Despite the “sincere effort” of U.S. and foreign agencies, Smith said that international sharing of information about traveling child sex predators only happens occasionally.
The proposed bill takes specific aim at child sex tourism. Smith’s proposed law would require that the United States provide advance notice of a “high risk” individual’s intended travel to the government authorities of their destination, and would request foreign governments to notify the United States when individuals with known records of sexually preying upon minors seek to enter the United States.
If approved by Congress, the International Megan’s Law would establish a sex offender travel notification system for U.S. authorities on the look-out for sex offenders intending international travel to and from the United States, non-public sex offender registries in U.S. embassies to keep critical information on U.S. sex predators living abroad, and would provide the U.S. Secretary of State with the ability to revoke or severely restrict the passport of an individual convicted overseas of a sex crime against a minor.
The proposed bill would also provide financial assistance to other countries to help them establish systems to identify and report child sex offenders to U.S. authorities.
Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) urged his colleagues in the House on both sides of the aisle to support the bill, which is expected to come before the full House before the summer recess.
The politicians play-up this bill in the media to make it sound like it is targeted on child sex exploitation, which of course is hideous, but arouses public support of it. But the fact is that this International Megan’s Law will prevent virtually anyone ever convicted of a sex offense involving a minor from traveling outside the United States !
See previous post: A Move to Register Sex Offenders Globally
We have previously reported that any registered sex offender can now be banned from entering Canada if they run your passport at the border. If this bill becomes law, anyone ever convicted of a sex offense which involved a minor will be banned by our government from overseas travel. Anyone ever convicted of a sex crime who lives abroad will be on a U.S. sex offender registry to monitor their locations overseas. This is unconstitutional to disallow hundreds of thousands of American citizens from the ability to vacation or travel to Europe, Asia or any other destination. Yes, even sex offenders have dreams to see other parts of the world.
We must all immediately contact our US House Representatives to tell them to stop this bill !
Read text of bill here: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h1623/text