To try to stop international sex trafficking the US State Department has announced last week that convicted sex offenders will be identified on their passports. The State Department will begin revoking old passports and issue new ones that will have a "unique identifier" of their charges. The unique identifier will be printed on the back cover of the new passports, allowing other countries with strict entry laws to be able to monitor offenders who travel overseas. The new changes are in compliance with new laws that were passed by Congress in 2016.

In 2016, Congress passed the International Megan's Law to help prevent child exploitation and other sexual crimes through advanced notification of traveling offenders. The bill was named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka. Kanka was raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender in 1994. The International Megan’s Law will prohibit the State Department from issuing passports to offenders without the unique identifiers and will also prohibit limiting international information by law enforcement agencies, reported by the New York Post.

Who is Megan Kanka

Megan Kanka was seven years old and lived with her parents in Hamilton Township of New Jersey. On July 24, 1994, around 6:30 PM, Megan had been outside, riding her bike in the neighborhood like she usually had done.

According to Megan's mother, Maureen Kanka, she would play with her friends and neighborhood dogs, sometimes even pick flowers to bring home. On the night in July 1994, Megan never return home.

Both parents began frantically searching for her and asked neighbors if they had seen her. When they could not find her they immediately called the police.

Police and search parties began looking in the neighborhood for Megan. They eventually found her remains near Mercer County Park in a toy box. One of the Kanka's neighbors was Jesse Timmendequa, who helped with the search and led authorities to her body. He confessed a day later and was arrested and charged with her murder, according to the New York Daily News.

Jesse Timmendequas had lived in the neighborhood and was no stranger to law enforcement. Beginning in 1979 he pleaded guilty to attempting to assault a five-year-old girl. He received a suspended sentence and was ordered to attend counseling which he failed to do. As a result, he was sentenced to serve nine months in the Middlesex Adult Correctional Center. Then again in 1981, he pleaded guilty to assaulting a seven-year-old girl and was sentenced six years at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in New Jersey.

On the day of Megan's disappearance, Timmendequas lured the little girl to his house. Once inside he brutally raped and strangled her to death. She had tried to defend herself against the attack, leaving bite marks on Timmendequas.

He was charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, and felony murder in Kanka’s death. He was found guilty and was sentenced to death. While on death row in 2007, New Jersey abolished the death penalty and his sentence was commuted to life in person without the possibility of parole. Within one month of the Megan Kanka murder, Megan's Law passed, as reported by CNN.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and has become an international problem. People all over the world are kidnapped and are forced to work as sexual servants or anything else the kidnapper wants. According to World Economic Forum, there is an estimated 45 million people, men, women, and children worldwide are being held against their will. It is the hope with the international Megan's Law going into effect, it will help taper down and stop child exploitation and trafficking.