13 Jun 2009

PNG facing growing threat of child sex tourism, says former AFP

9:31 am on 13 June 2009

A former child exploitation investigator with the Australian Federal Police has warned that Papua New Guinea is facing a growing threat of child sex tourism.

The newspaper, The National, reports Ian Hopley, who served as a police officer with the Victoria police for 32 years, as saying that sex tourists are now eyeing the Pacific where law enforcement is ineffective and attitudes to the sexual abuse of children are lax.

He says there is clear evidence that many tourism operators or hoteliers clearly turn a blind eye to child abuse, especially the sexual abuse of children.

Mr Hopley co-directs CACET Global, a child abuse education and training consultancy based in South Australia.

In collaboration with PNG NGOs and church groups, CACET Global has already conducted three major training and awareness courses on child abuse and sexual exploitation in PNG.

Mr Hopley warns that PNG's Government must seriously address the issue or the country's image abroad would be tarnished.

He is concerned that child and sexual abuse has already become rampant in PNG.