UK doing little to check British paedophiles abroad: report

August 17th, 2008 - 10:54 am ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 17 (IANS) Britain stands accused of putting children abroad at risk because of its government’s reported failure to deal strictly with British paedophiles overseas. Travel bans on known British paedophiles are less common, though authorities issue thousands of ban orders on domestic football hooligans, a new report says.

It asks the government to be more efficient in dealing with child sex offenders, including more agreements with other countries making it easier to bring such offenders back to Britain for legal action against them.

The report has been compiled by Ecpat (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), which represents Britain’s biggest child charities.

Ecpat accuses the government of ignoring scores of similar offenders who are abusing children in countries that are often unable to police their activities, says The Independent.

It concludes that despite increased reporting of sex offenders who are arrested for child abuse abroad, the government has failed to combat child sex tourism. The report states there is a “clear pattern with repeat offenders travelling from country to country and flagrantly avoiding the stringent sex offender management mechanisms in the UK”.

Although Britain has laws to prosecute for offences committed abroad, these have been used in only a handful of sex tourism cases during the past decade and none since 2005.

Yet in the past two years alone, more than 25 Britons have been arrested by foreign police for child sex offences, 15 of which were in Thailand. The Ecpat report says that in one case, a sex offender was able to return to Britain and escape arrest despite an Interpol warrant for his capture.

The government announced Saturday that it is to speed up its plans to close a loophole that requires paedophiles to tell police their travel plans only if they are going abroad for more than three days.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “From the autumn, we also intend to make registered sex offenders notify the police of any travel abroad.”

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