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Judith Collins

30 November, 2012

Collins to visit Hong Kong and Brussels

Justice Minister Judith Collins leaves tomorrow for a week-long trip to Hong Kong and Brussels.

In Hong Kong, Minister Collins will meet her public sector counterparts at the Government Office, including the Secretary for Justice and the Chief Justice of the Final Court of Appeal.

“I look forward to discussing some of the justice issues we are currently facing with my colleagues, such as extradition, financial crime, privacy law reform and how we can mutually assist each other to address these,” Ms Collins says.

Ms Collins then travels to Brussels, where she will attend the Ministerial launch of the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online.

The Alliance seeks to fight online sexual abuse against children by uniting countries around the world behind a common goal.

“Preventing child pornography is something I feel very strongly about. Earlier this year I announced the Government’s plans to increase the maximum penalty for possession of child pornography from five to 10 years imprisonment.

“Online sexual abuse of children knows no borders and child pornography circulates easily across countries.

“This is why the Global Alliance is so valuable. We need a global approach to ensure that offenders are prosecuted, that victims receive the support and protection they require, that child pornography is eliminated as much as possible, and that we raise awareness of the risks posed by these activities online for children.”

While visiting Brussels, Ms Collins will meet with the European Commissioner responsible for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström to further discuss how New Zealand and the European Union can work together to eradicate child pornography.  She will also meet with key Members of the European Parliament.

Ms Collins will also lay wreaths at war memorials in Belgium, including the New Zealand memorial on Rue des Néo Zelandais (New Zealander Street) which marks the battle of Messines and the Polygon Wood Cemetery where one of the three New Zealand memorials to the missing in Flanders is located.

She will also visit the Menin Gate in Ypres, where a large arch was constructed in the early 1920s in memory of the Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the area during World War One but whose graves are unknown.

More than 54,000 names are listed there of soldiers who are known to have died but whose bodies were never found or identified.  The Menin Gate is the site of the daily Last Post ceremony and each year, the joint New Zealand/Australia ANZAC Day ceremony.