Why marking sex offender passports won’t curb sex trafficking

In an essay for In Justice Today, Guy Hamilton-Smith explains why the “unique identifier” the U.S. government will be putting on the passports of certain registered sex offenders will do nothing to stop sex trafficking.

The State Department announced the identifier, required by the International Megan’s Law, last month.

Ostensibly, the rationale underlying IML and policies like it, such as its namesake, Megan’s Law — the legal and pseudo-colloquial term for the sex offender registry — is this: those on the registry have a high rate of reoffending therefore their international movements ought to be tracked and destination counties put on notice when those on the registry travel abroad. Indeed, in the text of the pre-amble to IML, it is stated that “known child-sex offenders are traveling internationally,” implying a connection between those on the sex offender registry and sex tourism, even though this connection is unsupported by evidence. 

Read the full essay online at In Justice Today.

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