Friday, June 5, 2020
News, analysis and commentary by UBC Journalism students


Pedophiles destroying views about teaching overseas

Many would say, “It’s just sick”. National Post reported on October 18, 2007 that Canadian pedophiles are finding employment overseas…

By Stephanie Lim , in Blogs Secret Life of an English Teacher , on January 22, 2008

Many would say, “It’s just sick”. National Post reported on October 18, 2007 that Canadian pedophiles are finding employment overseas as English language instructors to satisfy their crude desires. In that article, Christopher Paul Neil, of Maple Ridge, B.C., was an English-as-a-second-language teacher in Korea suspected of sexually abusing children in Southeast Asia. Does this make teaching English overseas a taboo profession? What does it say about those who have good intensions going overseas to teach?

There’s a saying by some of us who have taught in Japan, “You teach for one year, it’s admirable. You teach for two years, it’s cool. You teach for three or more years…why are you still here?” I’m not saying that teachers who stay longer than three years remain for gross reasons, but it’s a question that makes me wonder even more about the carefree romanticized lifestyle that I mentioned in my first blog. Maybe there is more to the reasons why some stay.

“Child sex tourism” may be an unfamiliar term for many. Basically, these people go overseas to engage in sexual conduct with children. Canadian law states that “it is illegal to have sexual relations with children, whether in Canada or in another country”. It is a crime under criminal code and convictions could be up to 14 years imprisonment.

The shady certificates of some overseas English language teacher are one concern. Now, we hear news about pedophiles abusing these teaching opportunities to gain access to young children. Perhaps stricter provisions should be in place for those who are doing the hiring process.