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Bali haven for foreign paedophiles

Paedophile rings of Australians, Europeans and Americans are operating freely on the Indonesian island of Bali, a new report has claimed.

Last Modified: 10 Feb 2004 12:25 GMT
Bali has become vulnerable to paedophiles after car bombings

Paedophile rings of Australians, Europeans and Americans are operating freely on the Indonesian island of Bali, a new report has claimed.

Australian child advocacy group Child Wise said on Tuesday children on Bali's streets had reported networks of thousands of foreign men preying on them, working together and sharing the children. 

The Melbourne-based group said Bali had became more vulnerable to paedophiles following the car bombings 18 months ago which claimed 202 lives, including 88 Australians. 

"Significant child prostitution industries are created when communities are vulnerable and we felt Bali was particularly vulnerable," Child Wise national director Bernadette McMenamin told AFP. 

The release of the report followed the arrest in Indonesia last
month of former Australian diplomat William Brown on child sex
charges involving two Balinese boys aged 13 and 15. 

Children targeted

About two years ago, HIV/AIDS outreach workers on the resort island said children on the street were talking more about foreign paedophiles, saying they were connected, they knew each other and that they had developed lists of children to target, McMenamin said. 

She said there were also reports of paedophiles meeting in the
neighbouring island of Lombok to the east of Bali, "abusing kids and hanging out there." 

The group later sent a researcher to the island to interview
children, tourists, expatriates, government and tourism officials culminating in a report which has been given to Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison. 

"We can sound the alarms and they must act," McMenamin said. 

Few arrests

"Significant child prostitution industries are created when communities are vulnerable and we felt Bali was particularly vulnerable."

Bernadette McMenamin,
Child Wise national director

She said paedophiles were choosing Bali because there had been very few arrests and unlike Bangkok and Cambodia, the child sex industry was hidden. 

"It is much more in the villages, in the community. Paedophiles are moving into communities sponsoring or supporting poor families and exploiting their kids. That's how they groom," she said. 

"They embed themselves in communities where they feel safe and protected." 

She said the Indonesian government had acknowledged Bali was vulnerable to paedophiles and that child sex tourism was increasing. There is also evidence that some paedophile networks were organising sex tours. 

Source:
AFP
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