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Pages tagged "children"
ACL calls on outdoor advertising to be ‘G’ rated
· February 18, 2011 11:00 AM
For release: Friday 18
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has called on governments to ensure the outdoor advertising industry better reflects community standards in a submission lodged with a House of Representatives Committee today.
In its submission to the House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into the regulation of billboard and outdoor advertising, ACL joins the call for outdoor advertising to be ‘G’ rated.
“Outdoor advertising is a public medium. Unlike television, the viewer has no choice but to be exposed to it,” said ACL spokeswoman Wendy Francis.
“This means that children are regularly exposed to sexualised media content that is developmentally inappropriate.”
Mrs Francis said the proliferation of sexualised outdoor advertising was making the task of raising balanced children all the more difficult for responsible parents.
“Parents are becoming increasingly concerned by the proliferation of sexualised images in public places, and are worried about the impact this will have on their children’s perceptions of sex and healthy relationships.
“Concerns about the hyper-sexualised nature of the contemporary media environment are nothing new,” Mrs Francis explained.
Senate Committee recommendation highlighted
that the “inappropriate sexualisation of children in Australia is of increasing concern” and that, “preventing the premature sexualisation of children is a significant cultural challenge”.
“Advertising regulation needn’t become more onerous, but consistent with the Senate Committee’s recommendations, the onus is on advertisers, among others, “to take account of these community concerns”.
“Consistent with their responsibility as communicators in public places, we call on advertisers to ensure outdoor advertising is G rated.”
The House Committee anticipates reporting its findings mid-2011.
ACL submission to Senate inquiry into a Commonwealth children’s commissioner
· December 17, 2010 11:00 AM
to read ACL’s submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee Inquiry into the Commonwealth Commissioner for Children and Young People Bill 2010.
Online survey about TV choices for children
· December 09, 2010 11:00 AM
ACL supporters with children under the age of 8 are encouraged to take part in a new online survey launched by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM).
The ‘Choices for Children Survey’ takes no more than 20 minutes to complete and aims to give parents a chance to comment on TV choices for children and what they think can be done to improve them.
The ACCM conducts research, provides information and acts as an advocate on behalf of children and parents in matters relating to media.
To participate in the survey please go to
and look for the online survey button ‘Choices for Children Survey’. Closing date for the survey is Monday December 20, 2010.
Report card shows Australia failing to promote children’s interests
· December 09, 2010 11:00 AM
Despite the relative wealth of Australia, a recent report card from UNICEF that compares the performance of OECD countries shows that our nation is not doing as well as other developed nations in taking care of its vulnerable children.
The report, ‘The Children Left Behind’, rated Australia’s performance below average in more than half of the 35 health, education and prosperity measures it uses to compare countries. Australia scored below average on such indicators as income equality, teen suicide, immunisation rates and spending on childcare services.
Alarmingly, Australia is almost the worst performer of OECD countries when it comes to the proportion of children living in jobless households, while Britain is the worst. Based on all measures, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland were the best at promoting equality for their children, while Greece, Italy and the United States were doing the worst.
The report wasn’t all bad news, however, with Australia rating above average on such measures as primary school enrolments, reading, mathematics, and science literacy, and on home environment conditions.
The full report can be read
, while a media article on the issue is available
Dollars and spin driving violent video game push
· December 06, 2010 11:00 AM
The push to legalise interactive gratuitous violence in video games has been spun as a child protection measure despite the advice of every Children’s Commissioner in Australia.
Australian Christian Lobby Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said it was wrong for the Federal Government and the gaming industry to claim that introducing an R18+ rating was in the best interests of children when it was exactly the opposite. He also took issue with the Government’s selective use of polling to claim public support.
“It is unbelievable to see this debate being twisted by spin to such an extent that having an R18+ classification is now being promoted as something that will benefit children. How does introducing new violent media into Australia benefit children especially when we know that these games will inevitably find their way into the hands of children?” Mr Shelton said.
“And if this is so good for children why have the Children’s Commissioners and Guardians from every State and Territory in Australia opposed the move and stated in their
that the introduction of an R18+ classification would ‘adversely impact on the safety and wellbeing of children and young people’?
“Home Affairs and Justice Minister Brendan O’Connor’s statement that dozens of games which have been restricted to adults overseas have been allowed into the MA15+ rating here is an admission that the system he is in charge of is failing to correctly classify material. This is not an argument for liberalising the classification system, already widely recognised as broken, it is an argument for ensuring classifiers do their job properly in the first place.”
Mr Shelton said Mr O’Connor’s selective use of the results of a telephone survey to claim 80% support for an R18+ classification for games was also a concern.
“I note that Mr O’Connor’s media statement fails to mention that the same survey found that two in three (70%) Australians agree that it would be difficult for parents to stop children from accessing R18+ games. The survey also found that 63% of Australians agree that playing violent computer games results in real life violence and that 59% of Australians agree that computer games should be classified differently, because the gamer is invited to participate in the violence, not just watch it,” he said.
“Clearly parents are very concerned about the effects of violent computer games and one has to wonder if they were misled into thinking lifting the ban on violent games would benefit children, when the opposite is true.”
Mr Shelton said the gaming industry stood to make a lot of money from having the ban on violent games lifted. “It is disappointing to think that the government is accepting the arguments of the gaming industry above those of Children’s Commissioners on the issue of child welfare. We urge State and Territory Censorship Ministers to consider this issue carefully and to keep in place the ban on extreme and interactive violent video games at Friday’s meeting.”
Violent interactive R18+ video game decision not a done deal
· December 05, 2010 11:00 AM
Censorship Ministers should not be swayed by pressure from the Commonwealth Government and the commercial interests of the computer gaming industry as they consider keeping in place the ban on extreme and interactive violent video games this week.
Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Jim Wallace said the Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Conner's support today for lifting the ban on violent interactive video games was not in the interests of children or the wider community.
"This Friday's meeting of State and Commonwealth Attorneys General is not a done deal and State Ministers should be free to make up their own minds based on the academic evidence and the concerns of parents without undue pressure from the Commonwealth.
"Bureaucrats in the Attorney General's Department have been too quick to dismiss credible academic literature which shows a link between violent interactive video games and aggressive behaviour.
"There is acknowledgement from both sides of politics that the classification system is broken and not serving the interests of parents and children so the idea of using it to legalise more offensive and potentially dangerous material makes no sense.
"Most parents are already deeply concerned about the influence of existing violent media on their children and would be opposed to opening Australia up to extremely violent and interactive computer games.
"It is naive to think that introducing an R18+ rating would keep this material out of the hands of kids and the Government's support for such a rating today should not be construed as a child protection measure.
"These interactive games have been Refused Classification for many years with bi-partisan support and this should remain the case because they invite the gamer to participate in extreme acts of violence.
"Protecting children and maintaining some semblance of civil society means a line must be drawn somewhere," Mr Wallace said
Marriage ‘equality’ will impact children’s rights
· November 16, 2010 11:00 AM
With just a single representative in the Lower House of Federal Parliament, the Greens appear to be driving the current social agenda and causing same-sex marriage to never be far from the headlines.
The push towards marriage ‘equality’ has the concerns of adults very much as its focus, but Toowoomba GP and committee member of the Family Council of Queensland Dr David van Gend says that the biggest impact of this agenda will be felt by children.
Writing in Queensland’s
, Dr van Gend writes that, “A child needs at least the chance of a mum and a dad in his or her life and same-sex marriage makes that impossible.” To read the full article, please click
Further evidence that marriage benefits children
· September 30, 2010 10:00 AM
A report released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the ill effects of parental divorce and separation on children last well into their adulthoods.
The ABS study, Parental Divorce or Death During Childhood, which is part of its quarterly Social Trends series, says that, “those who experienced parental divorce or separation and those who experienced the death of a parent as a child had lower levels of school completion, employment participation and lower personal income as an adult than those who did not”.
The report demonstrates that children who experience parental divorce or separation are less likely to marry as adults, as well as being more likely to divorce or separate themselves. They are twice as likely as people from intact homes to have had three or more live-in relationships.
It also shows that women who have experienced a divorce or separation as a child will tend to have children younger, with 13 per cent having their first child as a teenager compared with 7 per cent for those women whose parents stayed together.
The Parental Divorce or Death During Childhood report provides clear statistical proof that marriage provides a safety net for children, who are demonstrably vulnerable to breakdowns in important formative relationships.
With one third of all marriages in Australia ending in divorce, much more can be done to create a positive pro-marriage culture within the community, for the good of children and adults.
A media article outlining the main findings of the ABS report can be found by clicking
. The report itself, which is short but detailed and well worth a read, is available
Christian lobby congratulates ACT Greens on first steps to combat sexualisation of children
· August 18, 2010 10:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today congratulated ACT Greens Party Convener, Meredith Hunter, on moves to introduce a voluntary code of conduct for retailers to help combat the sexualisation of children as well as a proposal to educate students on the dangers of sexualised images on young minds, but said more needs to be done to seriously tackle the wider sexualisation of culture.
The ACL’s ACT Director Nick Jensen said he supported moves for the ACT to become a leader in the fight against the sexualisation of children and welcomed Ms Hunter’s motion calling on the ACT Government to take action on the issue.
“While Ms Hunter’s motion is welcome, it would be great to see her concern extend to Federal Green policies, where there is a push for X-rated material to be sold throughout Australia, support for girls to sell their bodies for sex in prostitution legislation, and opposition to ISP filtering measures to stop child pornography on the internet.
“In reality it is really national action that is needed, particularly in terms of a review of our broken classification system which is allowing children to be bombarded with overtly sexual messages by everything from billboards to films to music videos,” Mr Jensen said.
Mr Jensen, who also works as a chaplain in a Canberra school, said: “Our schools are seeing an increase in a large range of problems linked to children being exposed to sexual images and concepts at a young age. There needs to be a recognition that marketing aimed at selling products to children through sexual advertisements, particularly in teenage magazines, clothing shops and music videos, is not healthy for a child’s development.
“There is a need for more education in critiquing unhealthy media messages regarding body image, relationships, and a healthy sexuality, but also there is a need for the community to take responsibility to allow kids to be kids and not be pressured on all sides from highly sexualised images and messages.”
Mr Jensen went on to say that further steps need to be taken if the issue of the sexualisation of children is to be taken seriously. “Canberra is the centre of the sex industry in Australia and we are at a stage where approximately 50% of girls and 70% of boys under the age of 12 have viewed pornographic material,” he said. “We know from reports such as the ‘Little Children are Sacred’ inquiry in the Northern Territory that X-rated material can have a serious negative impact on communities.”
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979
There probably is a causal link between pornography and sexual abuse' says Q&A panellist
· July 13, 2010 10:00 AM
[caption id="attachment_1218" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Judge Felicity Hampel SC"]
A Victorian judge last night told Q&A there “probably is a causal link between pornography and sexual abuse”. And Fairfax journalist Lenore Taylor said filtering child porn from the internet was worth doing. Finall
y some sense is starting to emerge in the internet filter debate.
last night’s episode of
Q and A
on ABC1 was a heated debate on the merits of the federal government’s ISP filtering policy. The debate was sparked a when an audience member asked a question about Australia’s high rates of sexual abuse and the causal links between pornography and sexual assault.
Responding to the question, Victorian judge and panellist Felicity Hampel made the honest admission that “there probably is a causal link between pornography and sexual abuse. There certainly is so far as the abuse of the children who are the subject of the pornographic product that comes into this country”.
Unfortunately the debate became side-tracked from this revealing information, as WA Greens Senator, and prominent filter opponent, Scott Ludlam, spun his oft-repeated line that “the filter is not going to work”. He also suggested that the filter would re-direct resources away from more effective law enforcement measures. The Government has been at pains to point out it is doing both, a point lost on Ludlam.
However, fellow panellist, and Sydney Morning Herald journalist, Lenore Taylor promptly rebuffed Ludlam, rhetorically asking:
“But surely with something as abhorrent as child pornography, it's worthwhile trying to do both things: law enforcement and a filter if it can be made to work? And if it doesn't work properly, then surely that's not an argument to abandon it, it's an argument to get it to work properly. And as I understand it, haven't the three largest ISPs now voluntarily said that they're going to block the blacklisted child pornography sites? So to the extent that they're doing it, that must work in the interim.”
The lone Government voice on the panel, Immigration Minister Chris Evans also defended the filtering policy, arguing that “while people say everything is not a perfect solution, we're not going to stop trying because it's not a perfect solution”.
Former Liberal Party president and businessman John Elliott agreed, believing the filter “would certainly improve things”.
Last night’s mini-filter debate demonstrates how the wider debate about mandatory internet filtering has shifted in recent times as people from a broader spectrum of views have come to express their support with the intent of the proposal. That several large ISPs have voluntarily agreed to filter child porn demonstrates the feasibility of wide scale filtering.
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