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Child exploitation

Fighting child exploitation in person and online

Child exploitation offences

We investigate child exploitation offences.

It is illegal to:

  • engage with child abuse content
  • engage in sexual activity with a child under 16
  • contact or 'groom' a child under 16 for sexual abuse.

Child abuse content

Child abuse content includes nude or sexual images or videos of children under 16. It also includes images that have been digitally altered.

It is illegal to:

  • import child abuse images or videos into Australia
  • produce or sell child abuse material
  • possess, access, send, receive, download or upload child abuse material.

If you are under 16, it is illegal to take and share nude or sexual photos or videos of yourself. The law sees this as child abuse material, even though you made it yourself.

Grooming or procuring a child under 16

It is an offence to make contact with a child under 16 online to sexually abuse them.

You must not use any form of electronic communication to contact a child under 16 with the intent to abuse them sexually. This includes using:

  • phones
  • tablets
  • laptops
  • desktop computers
  • CB radio

It is illegal to 'groom' a child for sex or ask them to send sexual content using:

  • instant messaging apps
  • social media
  • gaming sites
  • emails
  • chatrooms
  • any other platform.

Report a crime or concern

We can investigate Commonwealth crimes (sometimes called federal crimes) and crimes that take place in the Australian Capital Territory. What best describes the crime you want to report or what you want to tell us about?

How to report crimes against children

If a child is at immediate risk:

If your child is overseas in violation of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), which relate to taking or sending a child outside Australia, let us know through our
Report a crime form

If you think a child may be at risk of exploitation, report it to the
Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation 

You can anonymously report offensive or illegal material online to the
eSafety Commissioner

How to report child sex offenders who travel

If a child is at immediate risk:

To report Australians travelling overseas to exploit children sexually use the
 Suspicious Behaviour Report form 

Reports to Crime Stoppers can be made anonymously.