New AIC and ACCCE research initiative to reduce Child Exploitation Material


The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) and the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) today co-hosted the Child Exploitation Material (CEM) Reduction Research Program Roundtable in Brisbane.

The Child Exploitation Material Reduction Research Program will bring together multi-disciplinary research teams to explore new solutions to reduce CEM from both a crime prevention and crime detection perspective.

The Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon. Peter Dutton MP opened the roundtable event.

AIC Deputy Director Dr Rick Brown said the event was an opportunity for potential applicants to meet key stakeholders, hear about issues in tackling the problem, and help generate ideas.

“Each year, substantial numbers of individuals seek to view CEM by participating in online networks that share and trade materials or by paying for access to obtain materials for individual use,” Dr Brown said.

“As with other forms of cybercrime, law enforcement agencies have been inundated with reports involving CEM that make investigation and subsequent prosecution beyond the resources of many police and prosecution agencies.

“In addition to pursuing official criminal justice action, a number of alternative approaches can be adopted to tackle the problem,” he said.

AFP Deputy Commissioner Operations Neil Gaughan said the program would contribute to the ACCCE’s mission to drive a national response to counter child exploitation.

“Last year the AFP received about 9,700 reports of child exploitation material. So far this year, that figure is already over 15,000. That’s 15,000 reports which can contain hundreds if not thousands of images and videos of children being sexually abused.”

“As the problem of child exploitation continues to grow, we must respond as a whole community in a coordinated, consolidated and informed way. The research from this program will help to identify new solutions to this critical issue, and ultimately see children freed from exploitation.”

The Child Exploitation Material Research Program has been funded for $800,000 over two year under Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The program will aim to result in robust evidence that will be used to inform changes to policy and practice.

The approach to market was released via AusTender in October, with research proposals to be submitted by 27 November.


For further information:

AIC Media – 02 6268 7343

AFP National Media – 02 6131 6333

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2018-19

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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