Independent TD Maureen O'Sullivan has proposed legislation to restrict sex offenders from travelling abroad.

Launching the Sex Offender's Amendment Bill during Private Member's time in the Dáil, she said the aim was to protect children who are easy prey in countries where the authorities cannot or will not protect them.

Conservative estimates put the number of children trafficked at four and a half million, she told the Dáil this evening.

She also said the increase in global travel had created more opportunities for abuse.

Deputy O'Sullivan also raised a warning from Philippines based priest Fr Shay Cullen that abuse of four and five year olds was being 'done to order' by abusers.

She said Australia had recently acted to give the authorities there the power to refuse a passport to sex offenders or order the return of a passport.  

She said she knew this was a 'tricky one' because of the right to travel in the Constitution, but she said this should not be a right to travel to abuse children when you have abused children in your own country.  

Responding Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said while the Government supported the principle of the bill, they are proposing an amendment to allow the Oireachtas Justice Committee to consider the Constitutional implications.

He said amendments to existing legislation imposes increased restrictions on sex offenders, such as enhanced supervision of high risk offenders.

There was cross party support for the legislation.