Sydney Morning Herald

Scores of Australian child sex offenders tried to enter Indonesia this year

Jewel Topsfield

  • Jewel Topsfield

Jakarta: Almost 100 child sex offenders from Australia have tried to enter Indonesia this year, which child advocates say underscores the need for world-first new Australian laws that will cancel the passports of paedophiles.

Indonesian immigration officials have revealed that 92 of the 485 foreigners barred from entering Indonesia this year were Australian child sex offenders.

Indonesia, and in particular Bali, has long attracted Australian paedophiles.

Victorian Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis was last year sentenced to 15 years’ jail after he sexually abused 11 girls – the harshest penalty ever imposed for this type of crime in Bali.

The 70-year-old had insisted he did not deserve to be jailed because his crime was “not a serious thing” and he “paid them generously”.

In 2014, Indonesia eclipsed Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia to become the number one destination for Australian sex tourists over the previous three years. Most started in Bali.

This paved the way for a deal between the two countries in late 2014which sees Indonesia deny entry to registered sex offenders when notified by the Australian Federal Police.

According to the Australian government, almost 800 child sex offenders travelled overseas last year.

Indonesian immigration spokesman Agung Sampurno welcomed the new law, saying it gave legal support to the ongoing cooperation between the AFP and Indonesian immigration authorities.

“The law is very helpful, however with or without the law the immigration cooperation on the field has been going very well,” he said. “Based on common agreement we do database integration. It makes it easier now.”

Former Victorian police officer Glen Hulley’s anti-child sex exploitation organisation Project Karma lobbied senator Derryn Hinch to push for the new laws after he was elected to Parliament last year.

Mr Hulley said the laws were in the implementation phase and he expected them to be imposed by the end of the year.

Of the 107 sex offenders denied entry to Indonesia this year, 92 were from Australia.

“These figures absolutely show the need for the laws,” Mr Hulley said.

Project Karma is lobbying the US and New Zealand to introduce similar laws. It is also the first Western organisation to partner with local government and police in Bali to raise awareness in villages about child sex abuse.

with Karuni Rompies