I believe the role of government should be limited, but does include protecting citizens from harms they can’t protect themselves from. This is not censorship.

44% of kids between 9 & 16 report they have encountered online pornography. Kids wouldn’t be allowed to watch this kind of content in a cinema because society recognises it’s not age appropriate.

Viewing pornography traumatises children and young people, and negatively influences their attitudes to sex, sexuality and relationships. Surely the federal government has a duty of care to compel pornography suppliers to verify their consumers are of legal age.

How you can help protect kids

The Australian Federal Government is conducting an inquiry into age verification for online wagering and online pornography and wants to hear from right-thinking people like us.

There is no set format for a submission to a parliamentary committee. Submissions may be in the form of a letter, a short document or a more substantial paper, or in audio visual format. They may include appendices and other supporting documents.

Submissions should be prepared solely for the inquiry and should not have been previously published. They should comment on at least one of the terms of reference. You may wish to include facts, opinions and arguments and recommendations for action.

Here are some points recommended by ACL.

  • Thank the government for recognising the health harm to children of pornography and urge them to act to provide protection.
  • Pornography sexualises children and puts them at risk – we cannot delay in taking action to protect them.
  • Pornography eroticises violence towards women and girls and is linked to the early sexualisation of children.
  • The average age of first exposure to pornography is 11. This can include violent porn and child pornography.
  • The alarming increase in child-on-child sexual assault is directly correlated to the increase in exposure of children to pornography.
  • Most children first see pornography by accident. Age-verification controls can stop this.
  • Age-verification is one way to help parents address the issue of online safety.
  • It should be a part of a comprehensive cyber safety policy that protects children from pornography online.
  • We want Australia to be known as the safest place in the world for children to be online. This is an enviable reputation to aspire to have.

Send your thoughts on the matter by 5pm Friday, 25 October (NSW time). You can email your submission to spla.reps@aph.gov.au, or create a free account with the My Parliament website and upload a Word doc or PDF. Click here for more info.

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