Stronger sentences needed for online child abuse offences

8 July 2022

International Justice Mission (IJM) Australia has expressed its disappointment after a Victorian man who paid for child exploitation material to be transmitted live from the Philippines on a web-cam has only been sentenced to five months’ jail by the Melbourne County Court.

IJM is a leading anti-slavery charity with frontline operations around the world. 

IJM Australia CEO, Steve Baird said stronger sentences were needed for online child abuse offences.

“Five months behind bars is simply not strong enough for those that are fuelling the horrific crime of online child abuse,” Mr Baird said.

“Australian law enforcement is doing an incredible job tackling this scourge, but we need stronger sentences to send a firm message and deter other offenders and potential offenders.”

Mr Baird said online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) is the fastest growing major crime in the world and Australia is not immune.

“The shocking truth is that a large number of Australians are driving this horrific crime,” Mr Baird said.

“An IJM study found that 18 per cent of all OSEC referrals in the Philippines come from Australia. That puts us behind only the US and Sweden, which is shameful especially considering the size of our population.”

Since 2011, IJM has partnered with law enforcement to rescue more than 950 victims of OSEC in the Philippines, more than 750 of whom were children. Many were abused for the gratification of Australian sex offenders who paid to direct and view their exploitation online.

“This is happening in our backyard. Australian law enforcement is doing an incredible job going after these predators and helping rescue victims, but as a nation we must do more,” Mr Baird said.

For more information on IJM Australia, visit: 

MEDIA:   Nick Trainor 0407 078 138

Stock image used.

You might also be interested in…