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Project Karma applauds new legislation

Project Karma applauds new legislation banning 20,000 Australian registered child sex offenders from international travel


Melbourne, Australia, June 21, 2017: ProjectKarma, a leading non-profit organisation which combats child sexual exploitation across South-East Asia, is proud to have played a role in lobbying the Australian government to ban travel of Registered Child Sex Offenders (RCSOs).

Last night, 20 June, the Australian federal parliament passed a new piece of legislation banning Australian RCSOs travelling to South-East Asia on what Australian Senator for Victoria, Derryn Hinch, calls “child rape holidays".

The Passports Legislation Amendment (Overseas Travel by Child Sex Offenders) Bill 2017 will see child sex offenders in Australia banned from leaving the country or holding Australian passports if they are on the national child offender register. The ban will apply for the duration of the offender’s reporting obligations. Once offenders are off the register, they can apply for passports.

Founder and CEO of ProjectKarma, Glen Hulley, has been campaigning for a travel ban of RCSOs since October 2015.

Before becoming a Senator, and following a meeting with Hulley where he outlined flaws in the current Australian National Child Offender Register (ANCOR) and revealed shocking child abuse statistics, Hinch was prompted to write a blog on the issue of Australian sex offenders travelling overseas to carry out crimes against children. On becoming a Senator, Hinch made it the first priority of his Justice Party to work tirelessly to bring about a change of law stopping RCSOs from travelling overseas.

“We applaud Senator Hinch for his instrumental role in bringing about this change. We would not have this law today without his tireless work,” Hulley says. “Australia has now set an example for other countries around the world.
“We are pleased to see our politicians vote in this piece of legislation which protects children in developing nations from abuse by convicted Australian child sexual predators. Sadly, on a daily basis, I see first-hand the devastating impact child sex offenders have on children, families and communities.

“Shutting down the global multibillion-dollar child sex trade is difficult but by limiting the travel of known Australian paedophiles to countries where the underage sex industry is prevalent, is a move in the right direction. Australia is just the first goal, ProjectKarma will now be lobbying other countries to introduce similar legislation.”

There are now 20,000 registered child sex offenders on the Australian National Child Offender Register (ANCOR).

Leaked statistics from ANCOR indicate that 250 RSCOs entered the Philippines from Australia in 2014. The leaked figures also show that, on average, 25 registered child sex offenders enter Bali each month from Australia.
Hulley says South-East Asia is a key destination for Australian paedophiles who visit poverty-stricken countries in the region to pursue child sex. He says Australia, and countries around the world, need more robust systems in place to ensure registered child sex offenders can’t leave their home country.

Under the old Australian law, if a registered child sex offender intended to travel overseas, they were required to notify the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The AFP would then notify the inbound country’s law enforcement agency.
“There is no example of an Australian ever being denied permission to leave the country because they are a child sex offender,” Hulley says. “We have exposed massive gaps in the system and sort to fix the problem with this new legislation.”

Cases ProjectKarma has worked on
In 2015 ProjectKarma was responsible for discovering and alerting authorities in Thailand and Australia that convicted Australian paedophile Peter Dundas Walbran was working as an international teacher in the remote Ubon Ratchitani region.
Walbran was convicted in Lombok, Indonesia in 2012 of child sex offences. He served two years of a three-year jail term in Lombok before being deported to Australia in April. After completing his sentence in Australia, Walbran was released but failed to complete registration documents served by police in Australia to place him on a child sex offender’s register. Walbran then obtained a New Zealand passport and moved to Thailand. He became a teacher at the Narinukun public school in May 2015 which has over 4000 students.

ProjectKarma also supported the investigation and ensuing arrest of paedophile and underground online child porn kingpin, Peter Gerard Scully.
Scully was arrested in February 2015 for allegedly running a pay-per-view livestreaming service of children being tortured and sexually abused on the dark web. He was charged with a series of crimes, including the murder of a 12-year-old Filipina and the torture and sexual abuse of at least eight young girls, including an 18-month-old infant.

ProjectKarma also aided in the investigation and arrest of Robert Fiddes Ellis who is known as ‘Australia’s worst paedophile’.

ProjectKarma was approached by a member of Project WATCH (Working Actively Together for Children) who informed Hulley their operation was being pulled due to a lack of funding but that they were investigating an ongoing case of an Australian abusing local children.

Hulley provided advice and guidance to bring the investigation to a conclusion and within a matter of weeks a substantial case was formed and presented to Balinese authorities which resulted in the arrest of Ellis. The trial lasted three months and eventually led to Ellis’ conviction and sentence of 15 years imprisonment in Bali. As a result of Project WATCH and ProjectKarma’s work, Ellis received the heaviest sentence ever imposed in Indonesia for child molestation crimes and this now sets a precedent for other child exploitation and sex abuse cases.

ProjectKarma needs to raise AU$2.7 million to set up and run sentinel teams in the first four targeted countries over the next three years. If you would like to donate, please visit: www.projectkarma.org.au

ENDS

About ProjectKarma
ProjectKarma is a charitable organisation that is dedicated to assisting police in South-East Asian countries to investigate child abuse cases and arrest paedophiles.

Hulley, a former detective from Victoria, founded ProjectKarma in 2013 after a trip to Cambodia exposed him to the extreme poverty and child sex abuse prevalent in South-East Asia.

His experience encouraged him to set up ProjectKarma which aims to overcome a skills deficit in the investigation and arrest of criminals who are trading children for sex to foreign and local paedophiles. The charity also works with local communities to generate awareness and grow jobs.

ProjectKarma operates entirely on charitable donations with each sentinel team costing around AU$100,000 per year to run. Each sentinel team will rescue approximately 100 child victims per year and aim to obtain arrests of around 30 offenders per year. “To rescue and rehabilitate a child from sexual slavery, systematic rape and prostitution costs, costs around AU$1000 per child,” Hulley says.

The project needs to raise AU$2.7 million to set up and run sentinel teams in the first four targeted countries over the next three years.

If you would like to donate, please visit: www.projectkarma.org.au

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