HC Deb 12 July 1995 vol 263 c600W
Mr. Alison

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department is he will make a statement about his plans for dealing with the problem of sex tourism [34513]

Mr Howard

The Government share the abhorrence felt by the vast majority of people about the sexual exploitation abroad of young children. The introduction, by Lord Hylton of his Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill has done much to highlight the issue and we have listened very carefully to all that has been said both inside Parliament and more generally We are anxious that effective action should be taken to deal with this problem. That must involve action by the foreign governments concerned, but that alone is not enough. We must also do all that we can.

Despite its admirable aim, Lord Hylton's Bill is, in the Government's view, seriously flawed and does not provide a workable or effective solution to the problems posed by sex tourism. The Government cannot therefore support it.

We are, however, urgently examining the scope of the law in each of the United Kingdom jurisdictions to see what steps could be taken to deal with those who in this country conspire or incite others to commit offences abroad. This would enable us to deal with those who organise sex tours or encourage others to travel abroad for the purpose of sexually exploiting children.

Any legislation which might be brought forward to achieve this aim would need careful thought to ensure that it would be effective. We would hope to have proposals for legislation ready as soon as the details can be satisfactorily resolved.

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