Thursday, 15 JUNE 2017
International Justice Mission Australia applauds the amendments to the Government’s Overseas Travel by Child Sex Offenders Bill proposed by Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore.
These proposed amendments to the Commonwealth Criminal Code are urgently needed to effectively address the rise in involvement of Australians in the cybersex trafficking of children.
Cybersex trafficking is the live-streaming sexual exploitation of children viewed over the internet. Paedophiles and predators anywhere in the world can now search online and wire a secure payment to an adult who sets up the show. Boys and girls—some under 2 years old—are abused or forced to perform sex acts in front of a webcam. Shows typically cost between $26 – $200 depending on the severity of the abuse.
Cybersex trafficking involves both supply and demand. Supply frequently occurs in the Philippines. The facilitator of the abuse of this children is typically charged with qualified trafficking under Filipino law. This carries a life sentence. By contrast in Australia, the perpetrator who commissions this live abuse typically receives a much lower sentence.
“Cybersex trafficking of children is a new crime. Law enforcement in Australia is doing an exceptional job in identifying and charging suspects. These proposed amendments will ensure the Criminal Code stays in step with the challenges this new crime presents,” said Kimberly Randle, Director of Corporate and Legal, IJM Australia.
As Senator Kakoschke-Moore is proposing, an effective response to the rise in cybersex trafficking must recognise that the sexual exploitation of the victim is being commissioned in real time and in the presence of another person irrespective of whether that presence is virtual or physical.
It must also include changes in the Code related to the reporting obligations of interest service providers and content hosts who become aware that their service can be used to access child exploitation material and pornography.
“We welcome Senator’s Kakoschke-Moore’s proposed amendments. These amendments will make a substantial difference in our capacity to effectively prosecute cybersex trafficking. This is vital to ensure children are protected here in Australia and in the Philippines,” said Ms Randle.
Media enquiries: Andrew Starr 0434 196 069
International Justice Mission (IJM) is the world’s largest international anti-slavery organisation, working to end modern-day slavery, human trafficking and other forms of violence against the poor by rescuing and restoring victims, restraining perpetrators, and strengthening justice systems.
In the Philippines, IJM partners with local authorities in the fight to shut down cybersex trafficking.
IJM Australia joins with that mission globally and locally works to build the movement of Australians seeking justice for the poor. If you want to join the movement to shut down cybersex trafficking and restart freedom, head to www.ijm.org.au/not-on-my-screen.