New Measures To Protect Children From Sexualisation

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 09/05/2012 12:42 Updated: 09/05/2012 12:42

Child Sexualisation
Measures have been introduce to reduce child sexualisation

A review into the increasing commercialisation and sexualisation of children in society has prompted new measures to stem the "creeping tide".

The Department for Education (DfE) announced on Tuesday its plans to implement the recommendations made by Reg Bailey in his independent report Let Children Be Children.

Bailey's research revealed parents are worried they were not in control and "children can't be children". Despite families wanting to take responsibility, they often did not know how to and this left parents concerned their children are exposed to inappropriate material, the report continued.

In response to the report, the measures which will come into play include:

  • Consultation on the current age rating system and whether this should be extended to cover more music and DVDs, including educational and sports products
  • Working with the music industry to have clear warnings displayed on online explicit videos

Bailey highlighted the importance of ending the exemption of music videos from age classification in sending a "strong signal" to music video producers of what is acceptable.

"This is a major concern for parents.

"Parents are also concerned about some of the marketing to children through digital media, which children may not recognise as advertising and could take advantage of children’s inexperience," he added. "So I would welcome any move by the advertising industry or regulator that ensures that advertising and marketing messages are always clearly seen for what they are."

Bailey has already received commendation from the Prime Minister. In a letter to the author, David Cameron described the report as "tremendous" and said he "very much agreed" with Bailey's approach.

"We should not to try and wrap children up in cotton wool or simply throw our hands up and accept the world as it is," Cameron writes. "Instead, we should look to put 'the brakes on an unthinking drift towards ever greater commercialisation and sexualisation'."

Children's minister Sarah Teather, who was responsible for commissioning the report, said: "It's clear many parents are fed up with their children being surrounded by adult images as they grow up and being targeted aggressively to get the latest ‘must-have’ items.

"Being a parent is a tough job at the best of times. The onus has to be on industry to stop undermining parents trying to bring up their own children, the way they want. It’s not acceptable for industry to simply ignore families’ worries.”

The government has already introduced the "ParentPort" website, a forum for parents to make complaints about inappropriate advertising and learn more about media regulation. Additionally, stricter guidelines have been enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority on sexual images in outdoor advertising, particularly near schools, as well as a blanket ban on under-15s being employed as brand ambassadors.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Female protestors display the colors of various flags painted on their hands during a demonstration demanding the trial of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, May 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

  • Actors, from left, Josh Brolin, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones arrive for the Japan premiere of their film " Men in Black III " in Tokyo, Tuesday, May 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

  • Rea Inu Bake, from the Indian tribe Hunikui, takes part in a protest against slave labor outside the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Brazil's lower house is expected to vote on a constitutional amendment that would punish landholders found to be using slave labor. The proposed bill would allow the government to confiscate all property of those found to be using slave labor, among other penalties. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

  • Ricky Crompton, from stunt bike team the Riderz, does a jump at St Bernard's Primary in Glasgow, during a photocall to remind drivers across Scotland to look out for children. Picture date: Tuesday May 8, 2012. As children get ready to start taking their bikes to school over the summer months, Mr Beaumont visited pupils at St Bernard's primary school in Glasgow to launch the "Give Me Cycle Space" safety campaign. See PA story SCOTLAND Cycling. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

  • New Jersey Devils' Dainius Zubrus, front, of Lithuania, checks Philadelphia Flyers' Erik Gustafsson, of Sweden, into the boards during the first period of Game 5 of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series, Tuesday, May 8, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • US Serena Williams falls during her tennis match of the Madrid Masters Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on May 8, 2012 at the Magic Box (Caja Magica) sports complex in Madrid. Williams won 6-2, 6-1. AFP PHOTO/JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A jetliner flies over the Mike and Arline Walter Pyramid as it approaches landing during the NORCECA volleybal tournament on May 08, 2012 in Long Beach, California. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/GettyImages)

  • The sun reflects off a residential building, early in Hong Kong on May 9, 2012. Financial pressure, career-driven mentalities and limited space are seen as key drivers of a fertility rate in Hong Kong that is one of the lowest in the world by some measures, with an average 1.04 births per woman according to the World Bank. AFP PHOTO / Antony DICKSON (Photo credit should read ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • A picture taken on May 8, 2012 shows a detail of the installation entitled Photo-souvenir 'Excentrique(s), travail in situ' by French artist Daniel Buren during the Monumenta 2012 event at the Grand Palais in Paris.The event runs until June 21. AFP PHOTO FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/GettyImages)


FOLLOW UK STUDENTS