How Australia is implicated
[warning: distressing content]
A June 27 article published in BBC News discussed the rise of child sexual abuse videos coming out of the Philippines.
Westerners 'fuelling Philippine child sex video rise'
Two-thirds of children forced into online sex abuse videos in the Philippines are exploited by their own parent or family member, it is claimed.
Much of the trade is driven by people in the West paying adults to make the films - many of whom say they need the money to survive.
Victims include infants as young as six months old, says the organisation International Justice Mission.
The Philippine government says it is working to combat the abuse.
Many of those buying the films specify what they want done to the children, with the resulting film then either live-streamed or posted online to the abuser, who watches it from their home.
Melinda Tankard Reist wrote in ABC Religion and Ethics in 2017 about the role of Australian men in creating the pandemic and how Australian Telcos and ISPs enable the abuse by refusing to cooperate with AFP investigations.
A man sits at his computer and procures a child - usually a child living in poverty, and in a very poor part of the world - to be sexually exploited, live, for his pleasure. This remote sexual torturer specifies the transgressions he wishes to be inflicted on his helpless victim.
To all the piteous horrors inflicted on the youngest members of the human family around the world, a new atrocity has been added: "Live Distant Child Abuse." There is a growing pandemic of this practice of paid-per-view torture.
This practice involves the real-time rape and torture of babies, infants and pre-pubescent children. According to a report from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, "59.72% of the abuse acts against babies and toddlers involved explicit sexual activity/assaults and extreme sexual assaults." These are acts that are at the highest levels of the Copine scale - a rating system used to categorise the severity of images of child sex abuse...
Meet Australia's Sadistic Abusers
Australian offenders have a significant role in this sadistic trade. As at 1 June 2016, 194 Australian children have been identified as victims of online exploitation material. 102 Australian perpetrators have been identified, but this is only a tiny proportion of the 11,000 referrals made to Australian Federal Police in 2015.
Behind the Screens researchers state that, "More Australian based offenders are regularly accessing, downloading from, or even administering vast international networks that encourage the distribution of materials." Australian-based offenders were "procurers, groomers and administrators of vast online child exploitation networks" and were driving abuse locally and in countries like the Philippines and parts of Eastern Europe.
Chief Judge John Pascoe has noted this disturbing trend in the Federal Circuit Court. He told the ABC's 7:30, "There are examples where people have been wanting to see the violent rape of children five, six, seven years old; and other, very violent acts carried out against very young children."
So, who are the Australian men involved in ''Live Distant Child Abuse"? Here are five examples. These weren't just individuals operating alone - they were operating highly organized businesses, business gangs essentially, with many ties to each other operating in a global system of pornography. This is a collective practice, not the idiosyncratic crimes of a few perverted individuals. Men like these are not just watching pre-made images on a screen - which is, of course, bad enough - but are actually manufacturing the abuse. It is not possible to dissociate their watching from afar from the manufacture of live porn as cruelty and abuse.
Infamous online and contact offender, Peter Scully, was arrested in the Philippines for crimes including child trafficking, child sexual abuse, torture and murder. Scully filmed his crimes for internet clients for $10,000. Police and lawyers describe his crimes as "the most shocking cases of child murder, torture and abuse they have ever seen in the Philippines." Senior police officers and prosecutors wept when they viewed one video called "Daisy's Destruction". Daisy was 18 months old.
Australian ISPs and telcos are commercially mediating the abuse of children. The Australian government needs to take action urgently to make them act ethically. A peak body is needed to give the issue the serious, multilevel cooperation it needs. As Judge Pascoe told 7:30, "I think the public does have a right to expect that they will be part of the social contract; that they will be aware of Australia's international obligations; and that they will do their part to protect children."
Without urgent government intervention to address these human rights atrocities against children, the social contract is breached. We all become complicit in these crimes.
Since Melinda Tankard Reist's report another man has been found guilty of child sexual abuse offences in Australia and Thailand.
Described in court as one of Australia's worst child sex offenders, Ruecha Tokputza sexually abused and filmed at least 13 children including one as young as 15 months old over six and a half years. Read more.
Write to your ISP to ask if they cooperate fully with AFP investigations to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.