Media Release: Alibaba exposed for trade in child and baby sex abuse dolls

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Collective Shout has exposed the mega online shopping corporate Alibaba for profiting from the sale of child sex abuse dolls modelled on the bodies of pre-pubescent girls, toddlers and babies on its platform.

 Our team’s week-long investigation has found large numbers of replica child dolls marketed as ‘young girl’, ‘flat chest’ and ‘sex dolls for men’ sold by 18 suppliers.  Some dolls are as small as 65cm, the size of a six-month-old baby.  

Collective Shout campaigner Melinda Liszewski, who made inquiries about the dolls through Alibaba’s app using a different name, has received many ‘updates’ since, including videos showing anatomically correct naked baby dolls and how they can be used. 

“I’ve been an activist with Collective Shout for 10 years and this is the most disturbing content I’ve seen,” Liszewski says. “It is deeply distressing to view.”

“At a time when there is more awareness of child sexual abuse than ever, how is it that a multi-billion dollar mainstream corporation like Alibaba can profit from normalising the rape of babies?”

Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper, a PhD Candidate researching female-bodied sex dolls and robots, said that child sex abuse dolls could lead to an increase in child sexual abuse. The Australian Institute of Criminology confirmed this in its 2019 report. Child sex abuse dolls are illegal in Australia.

“Child sex abuse dolls are designed to facilitate users’ fantasies of raping a child,” Roper said.

“This is not a victimless crime - these life-like dolls normalise and legitimise the sexual use and abuse of children.” 

Ms Roper will speak on the issue at the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Online Global Summit, the peak annual event bringing together 10,000 experts and campaigners working to address sexual exploitation, including of children. Hosted out of Washington DC, the 10-day summit starts this weekend.  

In 2018 the China-based e-commerce giant removed child sex dolls from AliExpress online marketplace following an inquiry by Hong Kong Free Press. The company was outed again in January this year after inquiries by the Straits Times, again claiming it had removed the listings. 

Alibaba Group Australia and New Zealand responded Friday on Twitter to our complaints, stating the items were in violation of their terms and conditions and that they were “looking into it”. 

However, some sellers of child sex abuse dolls on the platform are marked as verified by Alibaba and no replica child dolls have been removed.  

Alibaba’s CEO Daniel Zhang, Founder and Director Jack Ma and Executive Vice Chair and shareholder Joseph Tsai are responsible for their platform and must be held accountable for facilitating and profiting from this trade and not doing enough to stop it. 

Collective Shout has also called on major credit card and secure money transfer companies which are processing and taking a cut from child sex doll transactions - including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Western Union and MoneyGram - to cease doing so immediately. (For more see #AlibabaChildSexDolls).

Media contact:

Melinda Liszewski @melliszewski melinda.l@collectiveshout.org

July 15, 2020

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