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Australia to introduce tough penalties on child abusers


Canberra –   Child sex offenders in Australia would face tougher sentencing and mandatory jail terms under sweeping new laws unveiled by the Australian Government on Tuesday.

According to Justice Minister Michael Keenan, the new laws represent the greatest crackdown on pedophiles in a generation.

Under the proposed new laws, those who abuse children, transmit or create child pornography, would face minimum mandatory jail time of 25 per cent of the maximum sentence.

“The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill, which would be introduced to Parliament this week, targets all aspects of the child sex offender cycle by strengthening measures at the time of charging, bail, sentencing and upon release.

“Under the new laws, child sex offenders will spend longer in jail, be less likely to be granted bail and parole, face mandatory minimum sentences and be closely supervised following their release,’’ said a statement.

The new laws also aim to fight against increasingly rampant child sex abuse on the internet.

“New offences and increased penalties will combat the growing role that technology plays in enabling the abuse of children online through ‘grooming’ and live streamed child sexual abuse.

“It’s also targeting the administrators and providers of services, that facilitate child abuse material,’’ said a statement.

Since 2012, only 58.7 per cent of convicted Commonwealth child sex offenders received a term of imprisonment.

For those who did, the most common period of actual imprisonment was just six months.

“This represents a staggering number of offenders who are released into the community often without any form of monitoring, posing an unacceptable risk to children everywhere,’’ said Keenan.

These reforms are Australia’s most significant and largest reforms to the legal framework concerning child sex offenders since the establishment of the Criminal Code in 1995.

Earlier in June, the Australian government had implemented measures to stop child sex offenders from travelling overseas to sexually abuse children. (Xinhua/NAN)

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