H.R. 5138: International Megan’s Law

H.R. 5138

International Megan’s Law

Date
July 27, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 1623 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Tuesday, July 26, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage.  The Foreign Affairs Committee ordered the bill reported by voice vote on April 28, 2010.

Bill Summary

H.R. 5138 would establish a system for providing advance notice to foreign governments when a sex offender who poses a high risk to children is traveling to their country by establishing an International Sex Offender Travel Center to implement and coordinate risk assessments, reporting.  The bill would also require convicted child sex offenders to provide 30 days advance notice of international travel, and establishes criminal penalties for knowingly failing to report;

The bill would authorize the International Sex Offender Travel Center to transmit notice to destination countries of impending travel by convicted sex offenders who pose a high risk to children.  Additionally, the bill would also require U.S. child sex offenders who reside abroad to register and periodically re-verify (every six months) their presence with local U.S. diplomatic or consular missions.

H.R. 5138 also grants the State Department authority to restrict the passports of convicted child sex offenders and authorizes the appropriation of such sums as may be necessary to carry out the act from Fiscal Years 2011 through 2015.

Background

This legislation is aimed at protecting children from sexual exploitation by mandating reporting requirements for convicted sex traffickers and other sex offenders against minors intending to engage in international travel.  

The sexual exploitation of minors is a global phenomenon. The International Labor Organization estimates that 1.8 million children worldwide are exploited each year through prostitution and pornography.  Commercial sexual exploitation can result in serious, lifelong, even life-threatening consequences for the physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional and social development and well-being of a child.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing this bill would cost $252 million over five years.