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SURVIVORS OF ONLINE SEXUAL ABUSE AND ANTI-SLAVERY ORGANISATION CALL FOR ENFORCEABLE ONLINE CHILD SAFETY MEASURES

International Justice Mission Australia 2 mins read

Friday, 28 June 2024

 

SURVIVORS OF ONLINE SEXUAL ABUSE AND ANTI-SLAVERY ORGANISATION CALL FOR ENFORCEABLE ONLINE CHILD SAFETY MEASURES

 

Leading anti-slavery organisation, International Justice Mission (IJM) Australia, has joined with survivors of online child sexual abuse to call for stronger enforcement of online child safety obligations.

In a submission to Australia’s Online Safety Act (OSA) review, IJM is calling for tech companies to face higher penalties for failing to meet their online safety obligations under Australian law.

Specifically, IJM has called for penalty amounts of up to 10 per cent of annual turnover for digital service providers.

This is just one of eighteen recommendations IJM made to require tech companies to protect children from online sexual exploitation and abuse on their platforms, including for safety obligations to be extended to equipment manufacturers and operating system providers under the Act.

In a letter to the Australian Government accompanying IJM’s submission, survivors of online child sexual exploitation demand stronger enforcement measures to prevent the misuse of tech platforms.

Survivors and IJM Australia have called for it to be mandatory for new online technologies to be built with safety at the centre of their design to prevent and detect child sexual abuse material.

“Every person performing this abuse must be stopped or monitored,” said Diana, who was 13 years old at the time she was abused online.

IJM Australia CEO David Braga said that online service providers should have a duty of care to require them to prevent hosting child sexual abuse material, including livestreamed content.

“The bottom line is children should be safe online. Service providers, equipment manufacturers, and operating system providers have the power, resources and technical capability to prevent the creation and dissemination of child sexual abuse material in the first place,” Mr Braga said.

“Service providers who breach the Act and fail to protect children exposed to their products should pay for the consequences of their failure.

“Australia is ranked the world’s third largest consumer of child sexual abuse material from the Philippines – demonstrating that our online safety regime urgently needs improvement.”

Mr Braga said nearly half a million Filipino children face trafficking and sexual exploitation every year, and Australia has a crucial role in combatting this issue. 

“Stronger and enforceable measures are crucial to delivering an Online Safety Act under which Australian offenders cannot harm children, wherever they are in the world,” Mr Braga said. 

Media: Briony Camp bcamp@ijm.org.au 0468 308 696 

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