Hero priest wants to ban sex offenders from having passports

A four time Nobel Peace Prize-nominee Irish priest has called for paedophiles and sex offenders to be banned from foreign travel.

Fr Shay Cullen has urged the Irish Government to revoke predators’ passports in the manner of the UK’s counter-terror restrictions - writes dublinlive.ie.

The 74-year-old, originally from Dublin, described life for vulnerable women and children in the Philippines as “dire”.

Fr Cullen, who has helped street kids in the country since 1974, was speaking from his Preda Foundation (People’s Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance) offices in Olongapo.

He said a situation where hundreds of thousands of sex tourists are able to travel there every year was unfathomable.

The Columban missionary added: “The protection of human rights and the dignity of women and children is breaking down.

“Governments need to pass a law that bans convicted sex offenders from travelling abroad.

“Why are international and Irish sex tourists allowed to come here and rape our children?”

Last week, Fr Cullen’s team rescued a 12-year-old girl who is pregnant after being raped by a neighbour.

They also rescued a five-year-old who had been raped by her father.

The UK has official counter-terror orders which can force restrictions on overseas travel.

Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan is examining if there are constitutional blocks to revoking passports of known or suspected sex offenders.

In the last year, Fr Cullen has been an outspoken critic of Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs which has left 8,000 people dead.

He also rescues children detained illegally in jails and victims of human trafficking.

Fr Cullen added: “The situation is dire. It’s very sad.”

He missed out on the Nobel last week, but praised the award going to a campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

He said: “It brings up the debate on weapons of all kinds – and the killing that’s going on in Yemen, Syria and the threats from North Korea.

“It’s amazing that they got it and not some big politicians.”

There were 318 candidates for the prize.

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