By Sandy . . . Before the passage of IML, NARSOL (at the time, RSOL) published a blog post offering a resource to information about international travel. Paul Rigney, founder of RTAG, was interested in gathering as much anecdotal material as possible from registrants about what they encountered in their travels or their attempts to travel. This post has garnered more comments than any other single post and continues to get comments today, long after the post was originally published.
NARSOL has had several questions since our new website was launched about this post and the information contained in all of the comments. It is found here, under the “Advocacy” topic, and all of the comments are included. They are in chronological order with the most recent on top. Replies to comments are not under the comment where they were originally but are in chronological order within the total grouping. Comments made now, however, will show up in their appropriate places.
The issue of being able to travel internationally continues to be high up in the areas of concern for those on the registry. NARSOL is totally committed to the fight against restrictions on travel at every level. Restrictions are driven by the unsupported belief that those on the registry, being labeled “sex offenders,” desire to travel abroad in order to engage in sexual activity with children or to actively participate in sex trafficking for the purposes of child pornography and child prostitution.
The complete lack of evidence to this supposition has not deterred those driving these laws, and the legislation known as International Megan’s Law was finally passed in 2016 after several years of unsuccessful attempts.
Of related and equally compelling concern is the threat of a “unique identifier” to be placed in some manner on every passport held by a registered citizen. Upon the passage of IML, information was released that the use of this identifier would become effective in 2017. We are now more than halfway through that year and no closer to knowing any specifics at all about this mark that has been much written about and is still not understood.
Reports about the difficulties registrants have had in attempting to travel abroad, however, abound. Seldom a day passes when NARSOL does not receive a query in some form or another about this topic and where the registered citizen and his family may or may not safely travel.
To that end, we have a section entitled “Travel,” which encompasses both domestic and international, in the Resources menu of our website. The material there was timely when we published it, but the lack of any formal governmental action in this area has resulted in little to nothing being written currently.
We will continue to monitor this situation and keep you informed with the latest information about foreign travel, International Megan’s Law, and passport markings as soon as it becomes known.
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.