International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Australia Ltd

Partnering to save children from abuse and exploitation

In Australia, more than one in four children are sexually abused (ACMS 2023). This statistic includes over one in three girls and almost one in five boys. The abuse of these children is a public health crisis. We are facing an epidemic.

The widespread use of online technology around the world is changing how children can be targeted and abused. Sadly, it allows perpetrators of child abuse to reach victims quickly through various ways. Any child, anywhere, can now become a potential victim if they or their abuser has access to a digital device. Further, the abuse can be recorded and distributed using online technology, causing repeated trauma for victims as the content is shared and reshared potentially millions of times.

It is crucial to understand that ‘online abuse’ is not only virtual. These are real children experiencing physical, psychological, and emotional harm. The term “online” refers to how these children are accessed and how their abuse is distributed or traded. This form of abuse is not lesser; in fact, it can be even more devastating.

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We envision a world where children are safe from exploitation and abuse because CSE crimes are prevented, offenders convicted, and victims relieved.


Our mission is to support efficient detection, reporting, and prosecution of child sexual exploitation, with children’s safety our number one priority.


Our goal is to see more technology innovations and predictive analytics, increased data collaboration, and more targeted investigations, to reduce the sexual exploitation of children.

If you are worried about someone’s inappropriate behaviour towards children online or need support for yourself or someone you know, please click the button below:

Get help

(Australian Child Maltreatment Study, 2023)

What We Do

At ICMEC Australia, we’re turning the use of online technology to exploit children on its head. We support frontline workers in combatting child sexual abuse by leveraging technology and data-driven strategies to detect, report, prosecute, and prevent child exploitation.

For decades, the child protection sector has been working tirelessly to bring offenders of child sexual abuse to justice. This task is undoubtedly challenging. Their unrelenting commitment has led to thousands of convictions in Australia and saved countless children from harm.

While we do not serve on the frontlines with these officers, it’s our privilege to support them through several initiatives that strive to bolster their access to information, training, and resources. Our work aims to strengthen their ability to detect and investigate digital evidence of this crime.

As technology has advanced across all industries, several commercial sectors have seen perpetrators inadvertently exploit their platforms. A key focus for ICMEC Australia is the financial services industry, which has unfortunately seen its services used for payments related to Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) and trafficking. Viewing or purchasing CSAM is a criminal offence in most countries, including Australia, and financial services organisations are obliged to detect and report related transactions under the AML/CTF Act.

Offenders usually try to disguise their illegal transactions, making it difficult for financial crime teams to detect them. Payments might be low in value, appear innocuous in their references, or be divided between multiple payment providers and banks. In Australia, 99.9% of all payment transactions are conducted digitally (ABA). This creates an immense opportunity to empower financial institutions to meet their regulatory requirements and proactively detect and prevent harm to vulnerable children.  

At ICMEC Australia, we provide financial institutions with information, data, and analytics to significantly strengthen their financial crime investigative capabilities. 

We also unite financial services companies together to form a collective front against child sexual exploitation (CSE). Information has been siloed within individual companies for too long, so we are fostering industry-wide partnerships to create a collaborative response.

The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) has been operational for 25 years. The Australian branch of ICMEC, now known as ‘ICMEC Australia,’ was established at the end of 2021, and operates independently.

ICMEC Australia is a registered DGR (deductible gift recipient) charity in Australia. Our dedicated team works tirelessly, with endless passion, to effect change that can safeguard children. We’re very impatient for change – because we must be. Children cannot wait to be safe from harm.

We are a not-for-profit organisation; however, we operate more like a fast-paced tech enterprise that prioritises action and innovation. We emphasise outcomes and impact above ego.

In just over two years of operation, we’ve already delivered dozens of collaborative working group sessions and hosted four major industry events. We have built a world-leading data product to assist CSE detection, delivered five innovative data projects with several financial and government partners, provided dozens of informational webinars, commissioned several pioneering research reports on CSE detection, and played a pivotal role in successfully incubating eight new data-driven initiatives with external stakeholders.

Our team consists of leading experts from various sectors across Australia. These people have built game-changing programs and services in their careers across government and law enforcement, not-for-profit leadership, international organisations, and commercial enterprises. Although a small team, we strive to adhere to best practices and maintain transparency in all governance and management processes. As part of that transparency, you can access many of our policies and procedures here.

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