A new national strategy to prevent child sexual abuse

Media release
11 May 2021
Prime Minister, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The Commonwealth Government will provide $146 million over four years for the first phase of a new National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.

The Strategy will be a 10 year, whole-of-nation framework to establish a coordinated and consistent approach to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in Australia.

“Every child deserves safety and protection and today’s new measures will prevent, detect and respond to child sexual abuse committed within Australia, online, and by Australians overseas,” the Prime Minister said.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ben Morton, said measures being announced today will lay the foundation for the landmark new National Strategy, which will be released in full in September 2021.

“The Commonwealth has a leadership and coordination role in tackling child sexual abuse, and many of these measures address our responsibilities under the Commonwealth Criminal Code,” Assistant Minister Morton said.

“These measures will deliver on commitments made in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“Any sexual crime against a child is one too many, and this National Strategy aims to deliver ambitious and world-leading measures to prevent all forms of child sexual abuse.”

The National Strategy will complement and align with other national policy frameworks, such as the current and future National Plans to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, and Closing the Gap.

Key initiatives include:

  • $59.9. million worth of initiatives to be delivered by the Australian Federal Police to combat child sexual abuse, including an additional $35.4 million for new frontline operational activities to keep our children safe.
  • $13.9 million to bolster the capabilities of AUSTRAC, the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, and the Department of Home Affairs to equip intelligence, research and border protection agencies to disrupt the cash flow behind child sexual abuse, prevent and disrupt livestreamed child sexual abuse, intercept material and offenders at the border, and enhance our ability to identify offenders within the community.
  • $4.1 million for the Department of Home Affairs to work with Indo-Pacific partners on regional policy and legislative responses to child sexual abuse.
  • $2.95 million to help the Department of Home Affairs build relationships with the digital industry to drive a coordinated and collaborative charge against offenders’ exploitation of online platforms to commit child sexual abuse related crimes.
  • $24.1 million to strengthen Commonwealth capacity to prosecute perpetrators of child sexual abuse.
  • $16.8 million for the Attorney-General’s Department to enhance and expand legal assistance concerning child sexual abuse.
  • $10.9 million for the National Indigenous Australians Agency to co-design place-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing approaches to support survivors of child sexual abuse.
  • $4.7 million for Sport Integrity Australia to enhance child safeguarding in sport.
  • $3.0 million to the eSafety Commissioner to deliver targeted online education programs to support parents and families to prevent online harms to children.
  • $5 million to expand the National Office for Child Safety’s national leadership role to deliver the National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.

Further announcements will be made with the full National Strategy, including additional measures to be jointly delivered by the Commonwealth and its state and territory partners.

The Australian Government is working with states and territories as well as non-government stakeholders to finalise the National Strategy for release in September 2021. For more information, visit: National Office for Child Safety.