Working together to prevent the sexual exploitation of children

NAPCAN’s (The National Association for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect) annual National Child Protection Week ran from 3 to 9 September 2023 and aimed to address the significant harms being experienced by children in Australia. This year’s theme was ‘Where we start matters,’ which considers how the different opportunities and resources available can make a significant difference to the outcomes of a child’s life.

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The internet and related technologies are increasingly becoming a significant means by which children are exploited for sexual purposes.

The sexual exploitation of children, also known as sextortion, is a serious crime that adversely impacts victims and their communities. Sextortion involves children being groomed or coerced by offenders they meet online into self-producing child sexual exploitation material.

AUSTRAC’s Fintel Alliance partners and Child Sexual Exploitation Response Team collaborated with several Government agencies, as well as the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and the Australian Institute of Criminology to develop a financial crime guide. The guide provides businesses with information on how to identify and stop the purchase of child sexual exploitation material and emphasise the importance of reporting of suspicious activity.

Child sexual exploitation extends beyond borders and can have lasting negative impacts on victims and communities. By reporting suspicious activity to AUSTRAC, businesses can play a crucial role in identifying and stopping financial transactions associated with the purchase of child sexual exploitation material.

Download the financial crime guide – Combating the sexual exploitation of children for financial gain.

Payments for child sexual exploitation can be difficult to detect because offenders take considered steps to hide their crimes. No single financial indicator will reveal if an account is being used for child sexual exploitation purposes. Instead, financial service providers should use a combination of indicators highlighted in the financial crime guide and knowledge of their business to conduct further monitoring and consider submitting a suspicious matter report to AUSTRAC.

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