Child Sex Dolls – Promoting or Preventing Paedophilia?

Information on this page was reviewed by a specialist defence lawyer before being published. Click to read more.
Child sex dolls

Australians are one of the biggest purchasers of ‘child sex dolls’ in the world, according to manufacturers in China and Japan.

The anatomically correct dolls are designed to resemble children as young as five-years old, and are easily purchased over the internet.

Recent spike in purchases

The Australian Border Force (ABF) and Federal Police (AFP) recently reported a significant spike in the number of child sex dolls being imported into Australia.

They have reported a six-fold increase in seizures of the dolls, which has renewed debate about whether possessing the items increases the likelihood of paedophiles engaging in child sex offences in the community, or keeps children safe by helping those who are attracted to children to fulfil their urges.

New South Wales top of the list

The highest number of child sex doll seizures was reported in New South Wales (82), followed by

Victoria with 21, Western Australia and Queensland with 11 each and one in South Australia. Most of the items arrived via airmail.

Authorities believe the rise is primarily due to the availability of the items online and the ease of internet purchasing.

The ABF is treating the increase with concern, with officers actively seeking out consignments in overseas postal centres. The organisation is working in conjunction with the AFP and customs partners overseas to target suppliers and exporters.

Where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire

Japanese company Trottla manufactures the dolls and exports them around the world. The company’s owner, Shin Takagi, claims he is doing the public a service as the items help paedophiles fulfil their urges and thereby keep them away from children.

But Australian authorities disagree, pointing out that many of those who imported the dolls were later found to be in possession of child pornography.

Illegal to import or possess

Child-like sex dolls, manufactured as anatomically correct, are classified as “objectionable goods” under the Customs Act 1901 and its regulations, and require a permit to import into Australia.

Those who fail to obtain a permit face a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment and/or a $450,000 fine.

Five Queensland men are currently facing these penalties after being arrested earlier this year for importing the dolls, which weigh about 15kg and are around 100cm tall.

There is also case law to suggest that the items fall within the definition of ‘child abuse material’ contained in section 91FB of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The production, dissemination or possession such material is an offence under section 91H of that Act, which comes with maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment.

Last year, a 35 year old Sydney man was sentenced to a minimum term of 1 year and 3 months in prison for possessing a child sex doll in contravention of section 91H.

Cases under investigation

It has been reported that there are five child sex doll import investigations currently under way across Australia, which are either before the courts or have been referred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.

Prosecutions are often abandoned when it is determined the dolls are insufficiently child-like to establish the offence.

New laws to target child sex offenders

Earlier this year, the federal government introduced laws preventing registered child-sex offenders from travelling overseas and potentially exploiting children. The ‘travel ban’ was dubbed a world first.

This month, the government announced the introduction of tougher laws against alleged child sex offenders, which will make it harder for them to achieve bail and parole.

The planned reforms also included greater police powers to intervene when a person is suspected of contacting a child for an improper purpose, as well as harsh penalties for internet companies which fail to immediately report abusive content.

Last updated on

Receive all of our articles weekly


Sydney Criminal Lawyers

Sydney Criminal Lawyers® is Australia's Leading Criminal Defence firm, Delivering Outstanding Results in all Criminal and Traffic Law cases. Going to Court? Call (02) 9261 8881 for a Free Consultation.

Your Opinion Matters