The Senate Standing Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee referred the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill 2017 [Provisions] for inquiry and report. The bill proposed to amend the Crimes Act 1914, the Criminal Code Act 1995, the Customs Act 1901 and the Telecommunications (Interception and Access Act) 1979 to address the evolving use of the internet in child sexual abuse.

Anti-Slavery Australia commends the Government’s commitment to enhancing the Australia criminal justice response to this developing crime-type. This submission draws extensively upon Anti-Slavery Australia’s research and findings from the report Behind the Screen: Online Child Exploitation in Australia (2017). Anti-Slavery Australia makes the following recommendations to the inquiry:

  • The removal of the term child pornography from all Commonwealth legislation;
  • Use of the term child exploitation material rather than child abuse material;
  • The introduction of an offence of providing an electronic service with the intention that the service will facilitate the dissemination of child abuse material;
  • Further consultation regarding the introduction of mandatory minimum custodial sentences for child abuse materials offences;

Anti-Slavery Australia submits that the Bill should be expanded to repeal the defence to overseas child sexual offences based on a valid and genuine marriage.

Anti-Slavery Australia Submission on Crimes Legislation (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill 2017 [Provisions] (2017)