NFP Accuses Feds of Ignoring Petition
Thursday, 12th May 2011 at 11:47 am
The Federal Government has been accused of ignoring a petition signed by more than a quarter of a million Australians urging it to take steps to stop sex trafficking of children and young people.
A petition signed by 225,328 Australians was tabled in Parliament in April.
Although described as one of the largest petitions in Australia’s history, Not for Profit child protection organisation, Child Wise says Minister Kevin Rudd and Minister Brendan O’Connor have both ignored the petition and its requests.
CEO and Founder of Child Wise, Bernadette McMenamin says the Australian Government has also failed to include programs specifically aimed at preventing child sex trafficking and child sex tourism in the latest aid budget.
McMenamin says the Australian Government’s efforts are totally inadequate and have been for over 20 years and too many resources have been poured into law enforcement, overseas governments and into corrupt pockets with nothing trickling down into communities.
She says the Government must fund programs that combat both the supply and demand of children into the sex industry and keep children supported and secure in their own communities.
She says while the Government plans to erect signage at the airports about the strengthened preparatory laws ( against pedophiles planning to travel overseas) this is far too little too late and will not stop sex offenders from reaching vulnerable children.
The organisation has called for an ongoing education campaign in Australia that raises awareness about the laws, and how to identify and report suspicions or concerns about child sex offenders who travel overseas to an intermediary and confidential service such as Child Wise’s Helpline is essential to combat the growing number of children sold into the sex industry and encouraging Australians to speak up.
McMenamin also claims that by ignoring the petition the Government has failed the children of the world and is failing its own constituents by ignoring the demands of so many Australians.
She says her organisation has a shown that working directly with communities in at risk countries is the best way to help children and families at risk.
She says for $8000 they can keep 100 Cambodian children, fed and clothed and educated for one year protecting these high risk villages from child sex trafficking.
McMenamin says this program needs to be replicated across other countries such as Indonesia.