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On March 23rd 1994 the Child Sex Tourism bill was introduced into the House of Representatives This act which amended the Crimes Act of 1914 enabling the Australian government to prosecute Australian child sex offenders overseas Before the introduction of this new legislation if an offence was committed overseas and not punished whilst in the country Australian law officials were powerless The proposed changes in the law are to deal with the following issues Firstly sexual offences committed by Australian Residents overseas particularly in relation to acts of paedophilia committed within the major trouble spot Asia This section refers to anyone who commits a sexual act on a child under the age of sixteen at the time that the offence was committed Also the changes intend to deal with organisations that may run or promote child sex tours such as travel agencies and the like who have specifically run sex tour packages Defences to these offences such as stating that the defendant had no knowledge of the childs age will be also targeted as currently this is a major stumbling block on the course to justice Finally to save time and cost video link hearings will be setup between the child in question overseas and the Australian courts The changes stated above were required to not only protect abused children residing overseas but to prove that the Australian Government is in touch with the community values within Australian cities The amendments made to the law were needed because of the shameful amount of Australians indulging in sex practices with minors in countries other than Australia Before the law was amended the general feeling among those involved in the process was that the Child Sex Tourism Act would have to carry severe penalties with it The reason for such hefty penalties is that the law had the potential to be more of a deterrent to would be offenders and to also reflect
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