Australian Institute of Criminology

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The internet and child exploitation material: why we need to get smart(er) about demand reduction

74 Leichhardt Street, Griffith ACT - FREE EVENT
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 11 December 2012

Jeremy Prichard

With continual advances in Internet capability the market for child exploitation material (CEM) is experiencing a boom in demand and supply. Attempts to reduce the market challenge legislators, law enforcement agencies, practitioners and researchers alike – due in large part to the decentralised and global nature of the Internet. This occasional seminar surveys the research and policy context in Australia regarding CEM. It argues that an important gap exists in both research and policy, namely consideration of demand reduction strategies. The seminar presents research on: the prevalence of CEM on mainstream Peer-to-Peer networks; the apparent normalization of CEM on the Internet; and social attitudes to CEM. The seminar queries whether social consensus exists concerning the harms associated with viewing CEM. Areas for future research are discussed.


Dr Prichard is an established interdisciplinary criminologist who publishes across diverse areas, including theoretical discourses in law and the social sciences, empirical research and policy. Among other projects at the AIC (2003-05), he managed the juvenile phase of the Drug Use Careers of Offenders project. From 2005 to 2007 Dr Prichard focused on policy development in the portfolios of child protection (Senior Policy Officer, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Queensland) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (Special Projects Manager, Department of Communities, Queensland). Since he began lecturing in Criminal Law at the University of Tasmania, Dr Prichard played a central role in establishing two multi-disciplinary teams: with chemists, analyzing drug trends; and more recently with ICT experts investigating online child exploitation material (CEM). The latter team, including the Internet Commerce Security Laboratory, has published empirical studies of the prevalence of CEM, setting the findings in the context of society, law and the Internet. Dr Prichard is a Deputy Director of the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies and a member of the Sentencing Advisory Council for the Tasmanian Attorney General.