Government Tackles Commercialisation And Sexualisation Of Children

11/10/2011 14:37 | Updated 22 May 2015
Government tackles commercialisation and sexualisation of childrenRex

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Children's Minister, Sarah Teather, have launched a crackdown on the sexualisation of children in the media.

The move comes after a review in June by the Mother's Union, which made recommendations to businesses, broadcasters and regulators.

In response to the review, the Government has launched ParentPort, a new website where parents can report concerns about inappropriate products, adverts and services that sexualise and commercialise children.

'There is a growing tide of concern up and down the country among parents who, like me, are concerned about our children being exposed to inappropriate advertising and sexual imagery and growing up too early,' says David Cameron.

'I welcome the progress being made, including the ParentPort website being launched today that will give parents a strong voice and a single hub to air their concerns. But we must do more, so today I call on businesses and industry to go further and in the new year I will again review progress because I am determined we are really making changes that support parents and protect our children.'

In addition, extra measures to protect children have also been announced, including:

  • Stricter guidelines by the Advertising Standards Authority on sexual images in outdoor advertising, particularly near schools.
  • A voluntary ban by the outdoor advertising industry on advertisements near schools for lap-dancing clubs and similar adult services.
  • New guidelines preventing children aged 15 and under from being employed to act as brand ambassadors or in peer-to-peer marketing campaigns.
  • The commitment from the top four Internet Service Providers (BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin) that all customers will receive an active choice at the point of purchase over whether they want to block adult content on their home internet or laptops.
  • The first child protection app, produced by Vodafone, free for parents to download from the Android, Blackberry and Symbian app stores to let parents choose the times of day their children can use their phones, and whether they allow their children access to the internet, via mobile or wifi.
Commenting on the measures, Children's Minister, Sarah Teather, said:

'Parents say they struggle to protect their children from sexual images. They are also under pressure to buy the latest must-have items for their children. Parenting is hard enough so we should support them and companies should listen to them.

'I welcome the tighter rules on advertising, and extra help for parents to control what their children view on the internet. These actions are important steps in the right direction.'

Over the last few months, we've reported on a number of cases of child sexualisation, including pole dancing lessons for children, the seven-year-old who has botox, and the toddler dressed up as a prostitute.

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