Tuesday, March 24, 2009

International Megan's Law Proposed

From the Catholic New Agency:

‘Megan’s Law’ proposed to complement human trafficking laws

- A proposed Congressional bill, the International Megan’s Law, is being introduced to complement existing human trafficking laws by notifying foreign governments when a known sex offender in the United States intends to travel to their country. The bill also aims to prohibit foreign nationals who are sex offenders from entering the U.S.

The proposed legislation will encourage and provide assistance to foreign governments which do not have a system to identify and track child sex offenders. It will strongly encourage foreign governments to notify the U.S. government when a U.S. citizen is arrested, convicted or imprisoned overseas for a sex offense against a minor in that country and will include strict penalties for sex offenders’ non-compliance with their travel reporting requirements.

The bill is named for Megan Nicole Kanka. In July 1994, the seven-year-old Megan was kidnapped, raped and murdered. The assailant was a repeated sex offender who unbeknownst to neighbors was living across the street from her Hamilton Township, New Jersey home. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) recently introduced the bill into the House.

Smith also authored the nation’s first anti-trafficking law, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, to combat trafficking whose victims are primarily women and young girls.

“The International Megan’s Law builds upon the original state and federal Megan’s Law concept of notification and brings the program worldwide when a high risk sex offender decides to travel,” said Smith, whose district includes Hamilton Township.

“I know firsthand the positive impact the U.S. can have in persuading other countries to take action to protect vulnerable populations within their own borders,” Smith continued, speaking in a Friday statement. “Since the passage of my first Trafficking Victims Protection Act (PL 106-386), over 100 countries have implemented their own anti-trafficking laws and regulations to protect women and children within their own borders. The International Megan's Law is a continuation of the United States’ leadership in promoting and implementing global programs that make it more difficult for sex offenders to seek out and prey on new victims.”

He reported that informal communications between international law enforcement officials have resulted in child sex offenders being prohibited from entering the U.S., while countries suffering rampant child “sex tourism” have refused entry to convicted sex offenders after receiving prior notification.

Praising these efforts, Rep. Smith said a more systematic effort was needed.

“We simply cannot leave notification of travel of child sex offenders to random spot checks or ad hoc reviews,” he said.


  1. Anonymous9:40 AM

    So let me get this straight. We all hate sex offenders because they're all creepy perverts and we really, really want to protect The Children, so we're asking Congress to please pass a law that PREVENTS former sex offenders from expatriating and LEAVING THE COUNTRY??

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but won't this cause all our former sex offenders to stay in the country where they can prey on The Children?

    Talk about unintended consequences!

    This sure send a message: Hey pervs, don't leave! We want you here! I guess the idea is you want your kids molested by English speaking pedophiles rather than those who might expose The Children to some evil tongue (no pun) like French or Spanish?

    Way to punish former sex offender's families! WTF is wrong with you people??

  2. I believe the proposed law doesn't actually prevent sex offenders from traveling, but rather to ensure that sex offenders do not use foreign countries as havens for their illegal and harmful activity should they act again on their urges.

    International law enforcement cooperation leaves much to be desired in the counter-trafficking field. UNODC and many other international bodies and NGOs have cited the fact that dealing with cross-border cases is a difficult procedure due in part to a lack of law enforcement cooperation.

    Would the proposed law as it stands have unintended consequences? Yes, just as the national law has unintended consequences. This post is not to say that HTP necessarily supports this provision, but to spread the news that such a measure is in the works.

  3. Anonymous10:27 PM

    Former sex offenders, the 90% of those registered, are not sex traffickers! They are men and women who erred, paid their debt to society, and are trying to live their lives as constructive Americans. They have families, and children. This law is just another attempt by some sleazy, worthless, do-nothing politicians to be re-elected, to show that they're helping The Children. But the reality is, most sexual offenders offend family members and close family friends.

    And most sex offenders haven't been caught and so are not registered.

    A few years back, the United States government, in an effort to appear useful, told Canada not to send any of her former felons to the United States. And so Canada said to the US, 'fine, and don't send any of yours to us either!'

    And so now former Canadian felons cannot travel to the US, nor can US former felons travel to (or through) Canada.

    The US, with this new law, says no foreign former sex offenders can travel to the US, and sure as in Canada, these foreign countries will similarly ban American former felons.

    All that banning will do NOTHING to prevent foreign children from being abused, and it will certainly prevent any US former sex offenders their RIGHT to travel or expatriate!

  4. Anonymous5:36 PM

    I'm hoping to do a global project capturing stories of hope with victims rescued from human trafficking. I need 1,000 votes in the next 5 days. Spread the word. http://www.nameyourdreamassignment.com/the-ideas/jimminyjay/children-of-redemption/

  5. Anonymous5:14 AM

    Welcome America to Nazi Germany...just waiting for the yellow SO requirements to be worn on peoples shirts. People...wake up...the government makes trillions of dollars on sex offence cases...that is why they have these campaigns to scare people...it is so your so scared you give them permission to have access to your computers and daily life.

  6. Anonymous11:44 AM

    More than enough laws are already in place. As a registered Sex Offender, I just re-entered the U.S. after being overseas with my fiancee.
    Upon re-entry I was sent to secondary screening, after clearing that interrogation,my luggage was searched ,i was questioned again about the purpose of my trip and my digital camera and laptop were inspected...surely there must be some child porn on there,right? wrong. Anyway,Im not complaining, am am a convicted felon and the record will follow me, but adding a bunch of new laws really arent going to protect anyone. I had to notify the state before I left and give them a foreign address,and I had to notify them again when I got back..I was flagged and interrogated by immigrations and customs and my person baggage and electronic media were searched. My crime 10 years ago,I got drunk and exposed myself to a group of people,2 of which were teenagers...I did my time and I comply with all state and federal requirements.Its no easy task, one could easily miss a re-registration date and be convicted of additional felonies.....enough laws already...concentrate on finding abusers, not re-punishing complient EX-offenders

  7. Anonymous2:15 PM

    Sad State of things. Times will only get worse. What is a guy to do? I have a misdemeanor sex charge that is registerible. I also get the ringer treatment while travelling and I'm a level 3 (lowest level) offender from 10 years ago. I feel limiting the length of time to register is only right.

  8. Human traficking should be abolished strictly.It affects many teenagers from whole world.