By joining forces of Australian and the United States investigators, Homeland Security, in particular, 16 suspects have been indicted on charges connected to child sexual exploitation. The investigation had lasted for 2 years and covered five states. It has revealed not less than 700 cases of child exploitation throughout the area.
To uncover all the details concerning the rescue of children from an international pornography ring let us go back to 2008. This is when it all started.
The police detected 4 children, Australian natives, being exploited in a worldwide pedophile network. The legal authorities launched the investigation of the darknet website where the content demonstrating child sexual exploitation was available to users having paid for the service usage. The pedophiles capitalized on providing sexually explicit content – obscene photos and videos of child porn. They sold them through the darknet, thus, receiving money from the users ready to remunerate for watching children being sexually exploited.
The law enforcement of Australia preeminently issued 18 warrant raids resulting it detaining the suspects. Totally 738 child abuse-related charges were indicted on 16 abusers who come from Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, and South Australia.
The authorities have also succeeded in setting the exploited children from Australia free. One child was located in Victoria and the other three – in New South Wales. Nowadays the children are all safe. However, the question is: How do they feel after being exploited? Whatever the answer is, it implies no positive consequences.
Karen Bennet, a detective from Victoria, specified the devastating effect of such sexual exploitation crimes on children because of their vulnerability. As a result, they afflict humiliation, despair, feelings of incompetence, and guilt. In other words, a negative impact is produced on exploited online kids’ self-esteem.
The representatives of different police stations reported on how to prevent children from being sexually exploited.
Denzil Clark, Detective Chief Superintendent from Queensland and a member of the specially created Group investigating crimes related to child abuse and molestation, believes that the powerful cooperation of the law enforcement sources and the reaction of the whole community will ensure the children’s protection from abusers. Thus, according to his words, Queensland Police will keep collaborating and sharing their own proficiency with their counterparts from various corners of the world in order to detect those who might put children at risk.
In addition, Denzil Clark announced that on a daily basis Argos investigators are monitoring a range of online platforms tracking the abusers who are trying to exploit children. Nevertheless, he underlines, it is parents and guardians who can protect their children best of all. He urges to be alert with digital devices and to keep an eye on their children’s online activity.
This is particularly true today due to the coronavirus pandemic. When some joys of a real-life have to be limited, our life is getting more digitized than ever before. Kids nowadays are online progressively longer not only to play computer games or maintain communication with friends but also to study.
This has been highlighted by Adam Parks, Australian attache of the Homeland Security. Thus, the law enforcement sources were warned to acknowledge a possible coronavirus impact on the issue and prompted to be on the alert to guard children “in Australia, the US and online”.
Factually, the AFP Commissioner, named Reece Kershaw, supported the point. He agreed upon the coronavirus quarantine effect. The isolation has created an uptick in the darknet activity through its hidden services. Kershaw pointed out that parents should be extra-caring of what exactly their children are busy with online at any time. Even though children won’t appreciate being checked up, you should do this to guard them. Such preventive measures will be of help to protect children from sexual exploitation.
So now the community should admit that despite all its advantages, the world digitalization resulted in the occurrence of a new child abuse form, called Cyber Molestation. Online child abuse implies the usage of WWW or mobile phones and can be carried out in a variety of forms such as cyber-bullying, harassment, grooming, molestation, etc. The worldwide authorities should cooperate so that to provide children with efficient protection from online sexual abuse. Parents should also check up their children’s online activity from time to time to be on the safe side.
The 16 persons accused in child molestation are expected to be brought before the court within the forthcoming months. They are to be indicted on online child sexual abuse charges. The hearing has not been exactly scheduled yet.