Written Answers. - Human Rights Abuses.

Denis Naughten

Question:

147 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the action he is taking to prevent sex tourism from this country to countries such as the Philippines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17334/03]

The Sexual Offences (Jurisdiction) Act 1996 enables the gardaí to take appropriate action on receipt of complaints alleging offences involving child sex tourism. The Act has two main objectives. Firstly, it targets the child sex tourist by providing that Irish citizens or persons ordinarily resident here who engage in sex with children abroad can be dealt with by Irish courts. Secondly, the Act also targets organisers by making it an offence to arrange transport for, or to actually transport, child sex tourists. It is also an offence to publish information on child sex tourism.

The Act gives the Garda Síochána substantial powers to deal with this evil. If experience shows that additional powers are needed I will not hesitate to seek Government approval for them.