Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore, who moved amendments to the Commonwealth Criminal Code in June to crack down on cybersex trafficking, welcomed Justice Minister Keenan’s announcement this morning that the government’s sex crimes reforms would help combat live-streamed child sex abuse.
However, the government is yet to circulate a copy of the bill so “the devil will be in the detail”.
Senator Kakoschke-Moore’s amendments were two-fold: firstly, they aimed to better capture and penalise the live-streaming of child abuse where a person in this country orders and directs the abuse of a child in another country.
Secondly, the amendments clarified the obligation upon, and the information which, an Internet Service Provider must supply to law enforcement where they become aware that the service provided can be used to access child exploitation material. A penalty increase for non-compliance from 100 units to 800 units ($21,000 to $168,000 or up to 5 times that amount for a body corporate) was also proposed.
“I moved amendments to clamp down on cybersex trafficking which was expected to increase as an unintended consequence of removing the passports of registered sex offenders,” Senator Kakoschke-Moore said.
“Because of the speed at which the government brought its Overseas Travel by Child Sex Offenders Bill on, I had very little opportunity to circulate the amendments and secure support, but all parties stated they were keen to work with me to see them pass later in the year.
“The amendments were drafted with International Justice Mission Australia, which tells horrific stories of sexual abuse of very young children, including babies, in countries such as the Philippines by perpetrators in Australia paying a few measly dollars to satisfy their sick desires online.”
Senator Kakoschke-Moore’s amendments also added aggravating factors to the crime including, an act of torture, cruelty or degrading treatment being done to the child, the payment of a fee or reward, where a child is or appears to be under ten, and where another person is present at the time the offence is committed.
“I’m eager to see the government’s Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill to see the extent to which it has picked up on my amendments,” Senator Kakoschke-Moore said.
“Months have passed with the gap created by the revocation of sex offender passports wide open – we must close it urgently to better protect children at home and abroad.”