Let Children Be Children: Young To Be Protected From Sexualised Commercialisation

05/06/2011 21:01 | Updated 22 May 2015
Let Children be children: Young to be protected from sexualised commercialisationPA Rihanna has faced criticism for filming a video in which she shoots someone who raped her

A Government report, entitled Let Children be Children, is due to be published tomorrow (Monday 6 June).

The report is expected to include recommendations to stop retailers selling inappropriate clothes for pre-teens and shield children from sexualised imagery across all media and making the watchdog Ofcom more answerable to the views of parents.

Retailers would be required to sign up to a new code preventing the sale of items for pre-teens with suggestive slogans, which the Prime Minister David Cameron has repeatedly criticised.

The Bailey Report, commissioned by Cameron from Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of the Mothers' Union and a long-term critic of the premature sexualisation of children, is believed to include these recommendations:

• The Advertising Standards Authority to discourage placement of billboards with sexualised imagery near schools and nurseries or other areas where children are likely to view it.

• A clampdown on sexualised and violent images shown before TV's 9pm watershed and curbs and cinema-style age rating for music videos.

• A single website to be created, to act as "an interface between parents and the variety of regulators across the media, communications and retail industries" and empower parents.

• Making it easier for parents to block age restricted material on the internet.

• Lads magazines to be moved to the top shelf in shops or sold in brown paper covers.

Findings from a survey conducted for the Bailey review, and reported in The Guardian, show that:

• Two-thirds of parents had come across clothes, toys, games, music videos or other products that they thought were inappropriate for the age group they were aimed at.

• 40 of parents said they had seen programmes or adverts on TV before 9pm that they felt were unsuitable or inappropriate for children because of their sexual content.

• Of those parents who had felt the need to complain about these issues but hadn't, over 60% said that they had not done so either because they didn't think anything would be done or they didn't know who to complain to.

• Around half of parents felt that celebrity culture, adult style clothes and music videos are encouraging children to act older than they are.

Bailey has previously said: "For us to let children be children, we need to let parents be parents. That means giving parents the support and encouragement they need to help their children understand and resist the harms they face.

"But it also means putting brakes on ever greater commercialisation and sexualisation facing children in modern society. Only then can we look to create a truly family friendly society that protects children."

What do you think? Should we be putting the brakes on?

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