Copyright (c) 2004 Pacific Rim Law & Policy Association
Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal
COMMENT: JUSTICE BEYOND BORDERS: A COMPARISON OF AUSTRALIAN AND U.S. CHILD-SEX TOURISM LAWS
13 Pac. Rim L. & Pol'y J. 405
Karen D. Breckenridge+
The clandestine billion-dollar sex tourism industry, 2 which victimizes hundreds of thousands of children, 3 is a global human rights problem with devastating consequences. In one horrific case, Michael Lewis Clark, a sixty-nine-year-old U.S. citizen and military veteran, was arrested by Cambodian police in June 2003 for engaging in sexual acts with two Cambodian boys. 4 After Clark's extradition to the United States in early September, federal prosecutors filed a complaint in Seattle, charging Clark for engaging in illicit sexual conduct in Cambodia. 5 Clark is believed to be the first person to be prosecuted under the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003 ("PROTECT Act"). 6 The PROTECT Act seeks to strengthen laws punishing individuals who travel abroad and sexually exploit children. 7
Like the United States, Australia must also confront the reality that its own citizens engage in such acts. Robert Marlow, a fifty-five-year-old Australian, pleaded guilty in April 2000 to sexually abusing boys during several business trips to Fiji. 8 The government sentenced Marlow to three years in jail 9 under Australia's Crimes (Child-Sex Tourism) Amendment Act of 1994 ("CST Act"). 10
Clark and Marlow's prosecutions represent two of the disappointingly limited number of successful child-sex tourism convictions. Child-sex tourism is the exploitation of children by individuals who travel to foreign countries to engage in sexual acts with children. 11 A 1996 United Nations report estimated that a total of one ...
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