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New facility to counter child exploitation opened in Brisbane

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation > News and Media > Releases > 2020 > facility-opening-Brisbane


The new purpose-built Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) facility was officially opened in Brisbane today by the Minister for Home Affairs, The Hon Peter Dutton.

The new facility houses police and domestic and international specialists dedicated to the ongoing fight to ensure children are free from exploitation.

The Minister was joined by AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw APM and distinguished guests, including State and Territory Police, representatives from the Carly Ryan Foundation, the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, and other child protection advocates.

The facility brings together resources from government and Commonwealth agencies, law-enforcement, non-government organisations, and other partners in a centralised hub to prevent and disrupt online sexual exploitation of children.

AFP Assistant Commissioner for Northern Command Lesa Gale welcomed guests and said the official opening of the facility was an extraordinary achievement and showed the commitment from the Australian Government in the fight to end child exploitation in Australia and around the world.

“Today, we acknowledge the serious and significant issue of online child sexual exploitation that brings us together, and highlight the importance of partnerships in protecting our children,” Assistant Commissioner Gale said.

“Our specialists housed here have been working around the clock to achieve great results.”

The AFP Commissioner highlighted the recent operational results of Operation Molto, the latest ACCCE-coordinated operation involving all Australian State and Territory police, which has resulted in 16 children removed from harm, and 44 offenders charged with 350 offences.

Operation Molto is the third major operation since the inception of the ACCCE, which has resulted in a combined total of 87 offenders charged with 1,266 offences, and 24 children removed from harm.

From 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, the ACCCE received more than 21,000 incoming reports of child exploitation. This is compared to more than 14,000 reports in the 2018-2019 financial year.

The opening also commemorated the life of Carly Ryan—who was tragically murdered by an offender who groomed her online—through the placement of her memorial quilt within the new ACCCE facility.

The ACCCE provides a world leading facility and work environment for the efficient processing and prioritisation of online child exploitation reports and technical solutions to enable effective real-time sharing of information and victim identification capabilities.

Note to media:

Media are reminded of their obligations under s15A of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW) and s105 of the Children and Young Person (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (NSW).

Use of term ‘CHILD ABUSE’ MATERIAL NOT ‘CHILD PORNOGRAPHY’

The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was among amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.

Use of the phrase "child pornography" is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers because it:

  • indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and
  • conjures images of children posing in 'provocative' positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.

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