Tough new laws that crack down on online predators have today passed Parliament, giving young Australians greater protection in the online world.
The Criminal Code Amendment (Protecting Minors Online) Bill, or Carly’s Law, targets online predators preparing or planning to cause harm, to, procure or engage in sexual activity with a child. Importantly, it targets predators who misrepresent their age.
Minister for Justice Michael Keenan said the new laws are a testament to Sonya Ryan, who has advocated for this since her 15 year old daughter, Carly was murdered a decade ago by an online predator posing as a teenage boy.
“Today, Sonya has achieved what she set out to do. The new offence will provide police with the power to intervene before a predator has the chance to act, before a child is harmed,” Minister Keenan said.
“The tough new sentence of 10 years imprisonment for convicted offenders will also serve as a strong deterrent for the vile grooming of young Australians.”
Founder and CEO of the Carly Ryan Foundation Sonya Ryan said she was overwhelmed with happiness that Carly’s Law had finally passed.
“I embrace this legislation as a vital tool, giving police more power to intervene sooner before a child is harmed or before an innocent child becomes a victim of a crime,” Ms Ryan said.
“It’s difficult to find the words to describe how this feels, but I know my daughter would be very happy to see other children protected.”
Carly’s Law continues the Coalition Government’s commitment to better protecting young Australians, including yesterday’s introduction of legislation to cancel the passports of convicted child sex offenders and the ongoing work of the Australian Federal Police’s ThinkUKnow program.