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Crimes Against Minors Abroad

U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of foreign countries. Furthermore, some laws are prosecutable in the United States regardless of local law. Under the PROTECT Act of April 2003,it is a crime, prosecutable in the United States, for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18, whether or not the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident alien intended to engage in such illicit sexual conduct prior to going abroad.    

Under the Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998, it is a crime to use the mail or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including the Internet, to transmit information about a minor under the age of 16 for criminal sexual purposes that include, among other things, the production of child pornography.

For additional information on federal laws related to crimes against minors overseas, please see the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

If you want to report a crime, please contact the FBI or see numbers provided by DOJ here.  


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