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About a month ago I wrote about Australia’s bid to pass legislation to prevent those on their national registry from traveling. Their plan was to deny passports to at least 20,000 registrants, prevent them from traveling overseas to Southeast Asian countries where they “might” re-offend and sexually abuse children.
Well, Australia has now passed their legislation, much to the delight of an outspoken and former radio talk show host who is now a Senator and promoter of the legislation, Senator Derryn Hinch. The Senator told BBC World Service that the day the legislation passed was “one of the greatest days of my life”.
Come on Senator, really, this is one of the greatest days of your life? Then you need to find a better life.
This is also the same man who made the comment when speaking with BBC World Service about this legislation
“my attitude is that if you rape a child you lose some of your civil rights.” He wanted to put an end to “child rape holidays”. I don’t know if the Senator made up that term but why would he even choose to use it? It’s sort of disgusting.
The way I read it, the Senator thinks it is not only a great day to ruin the lives of thousands of registrants who would never have re-offended but he also seems to assume that if you are on the national registry, then you must have raped a child.
At face value, the legislation’s idea of wanting to stop child sex abuse is wonderful. Let’s applaud Australia for that.
But, then we need to look at the facts and be realistic.
All registrants are not equal. There may very well be some on the registry who have sexually abused children, who, when given the opportunity, would travel to places in Southeast Asia or anywhere else I presume, to re-offend. But, there are probably just as many people who “aren’t” on the registry, who have no history of sexual offenses, that might do the very same thing. And there are plenty of registrants that will never re-offend who would just like to travel for the sake of traveling.
This crystal ball mentality has got to stop. Taking rights away from people because of what they “might” do is asinine. Any of us “might” do something in the future, does that mean we should all lose our rights? Everyone give up your passport because of what you “might” do somewhere down the line.
That’s idiotic thinking at best.
There are plenty of people on the registry for non-contact crimes, sexting, internet pornography, Romeo & Juliette underage sex. These are not “child rapists” as the Senator would like everyone to believe. Why deny them the right to travel? They’ve never sexually abused a child and statistics show that the likelihood of them re-offending is extremely low. Where’s the logic in this?
The logic of this legislation seems to be one of “once a sex offender, always a sex offender”. It binds the hands of judges when it comes to sane sentencing of sex offenders and instead throws everyone into the same pool. Seeing a registrant as a person, as an individual, becomes non-existent. Every registrant, no matter that they’ve served their jail or prison time or have received treatment, is treated as a violent predator who shouldn’t be allowed to travel. That’s insane.
Every registrant is Not a violent predator.
I wonder what Senator Hinch will do when he starts seeing jails and prisons filling up with those 18 yrs old and younger? That day is fast approaching. Sexting is on the rise, younger and younger kids are falling prey to the curiosities of the internet. Will the senator be having the “greatest day of his life” when 12 and 13 year old kids start ending up on the registry? Remember, with his legislation, it’s everybody in the same pool, everybody loses their right to travel no matter what the sex offense. What’s going to happen when a tweenager can’t go on holiday with the rest of the family because they’re on the registry for sending a provocative adolescent picture to their first crush? How well will the senator’s constituents accept that?
It’s a sad state of affairs when the greatest day of someone’s life is a day that ruins the lives of thousands of others.
Not a G’Day in Australia. Not a G’Day at all.