BY Joe JENKINS
CATHOLIC campaigners have reacted with delight to the announcement this week that the Government is to introduce new laws allowing the prosecution of British sex tourists who exploit children overseas.
Richard Miller, deputy director of CAFOD, said: "We are delighted that the Government has finally accepted the need for tough new laws against child sex tourists. This legislation will act as a powerful disincentive for men based in Britain who have felt free to travel overseas and commit crimes against young children".
"We would particularly like to thank all those Catholics who have supported our campaign. Our success in changing the Government's position on this issue shows what we can achieve when we get together and express our collective outrage. Our partners in the Third World who are working with the victims of child sex tourism will see this as a further step forward in getting rid of this despicable trade".
Although the law change will amount to the prosecution of only a few number of t. uses each year, ministers believe it will have a widespread deterrent effect on the problem of "child sex tourism".
Anne Badger, Campaign Co-ordinator of the Coalition, said that she was "delighted with the announcement. It seems as if the Government has finally responded to public outrage that child sex tourism is unacceptable and have cornmited themselves to prosecuting child sex tourists. 'This is something really positive to take to the World Congress Against the Commercial Sexual Exploita don of Children in Stockholm in August".
The Coalition welcomes the fact that Britain will now be in line with 13 other tourist-sending countries, including Australia, New Zealand and France.
The Coalition has backed three previous attempts to introduce a law to provide for UK prosecutions of UK child sex tourists. An amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill was defeated in the Lords in June 1994, and a Bill introduced by Lord Hylton was blocked in 1995 and in July 1996 by the Home Office.
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