Accra, Nov. 2 ,(UPI/GNA) - The U.S. State
Department announced this week that child sex offenders will be required to
have a mark on their passports that identifies them as sex criminals.
Inside the back cover of the offender's passport will be a sentence that states: "The bearer was convicted of a sex offense against a minor, and is a covered sex offender pursuant to 22 United States Code Section 212b(c) (l)."
The policy adheres to the International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders, which Congress enacted on Feb. 8, 2016.
The State Department said it will begin notifying child sex offenders that their current passports will be revoked and they'll need to renew their document so it has the new language.
The passport law is intended "to protect children and others from sexual abuse and exploitation, including sex trafficking and sex tourism," but the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, nonprofits that advocates for the civil rights of sex offenders, told The New York Times that it violates offenders' constitutional rights and could be a "slippery slope."
"Today, its people convicted of sex offenses involving minors, but, given the current political environment, perhaps next it will be Muslims. Or maybe it will be people who are gay," said Janice Bellucci, the founder of the group.
Last year, a lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court challenged the law, but Chief U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton of Oakland threw out the case because the law hadn't taken effect yet.
However, Hamilton said she didn't believe the law violated one's constitutional rights because the U.S. government has a legitimate interest in "preventing U.S. persons from committing acts of sexual abuse or exploitation in other countries and in facilitating cooperation with and reciprocal notifications from other countries" whose residents travel to the United States, reported the San Francisco Gate.