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Canada Proposes Tougher Laws Against Child Sex Offenders
Source: xinhuanet.com
Source Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: Canada
Created: Sep 18, 2013

Canada is getting tougher on its citizens who sexually exploit children wherever they may be in the world. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Monday that this fall new amendments will be proposed for the country's laws to better protect children against those who sexually exploit them either at home or abroad.
 
"These reforms will also take into account our responsibility to protect children everywhere. We should do what we can to protect innocent kids beyond our borders," Harper said in the Vancouver suburb city of Richmond, adding "It sends a clear message to the criminals who shame our nation by preying on children abroad."
 
Among the proposed amendments Harper is asking members of parliament to support are new notification requirements for offenders on the country's national sex offender registry who travel outside of Canada.
 
In addition, the proposals calls for the establishment of a new national, publicly accessible computer database to allow for better information-sharing between police and border security to keep track of traveling sex offenders.
 
According to the Canadian government, about 44 percent of victims in police-reported sexual assaults in 2011 were against children. Internationally, approximately one million children are exploited by sex tourists and traffickers annually.
 
Through tougher penalties in child predators act, Harper said, this would also make it more difficult for known sex offenders to travel abroad.
 
"It will require that high-risk sex offenders provide Canadian police with advance notice of international travel. The act will further authorize police and government agencies to inform Canadian border guards about these travel plans so that from now on such offenders will be carefully monitored by Canada," he said.
 
"Canadian officials must, where appropriate, warn destination countries that a dangerous offender is heading their way," said the prime minister.
 
Calling child sex offenders "criminals of the worst kind," Harper said the proposed amendments would shift the focus to the rights of the victims and the families who needed to come first.

(By Al Campbell)

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