Christian schools have welcomed the Government’s long awaited response to the “Protecting the age of innocence” report.
The Government, in its response released earlier today, expressed its support for the recommendations of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs report ‘Protecting the age of innocence’ tabled in February 2020 (Online Age Verification Report).
The Committee said there was “widespread and genuine concern…about the serious impacts on the welfare of children” associated with porn exposure. Speaker at the recent Christian Schools National Policy Forum, Melinda Tankard-Reist of Collective Shout, has been one of a number of researchers and advocates documenting the harms of pornography to children for over a decade The Committee concluding that age verification “could create a significant barrier to prevent young people … from exposure to harmful online content.”
Earlier this year Christian Schools Australia wrote to the Prime Minister and other Ministers urging them to adopt the Committee’s recommendations and take action on this issue.
“It is vital that the Commonwealth Government provide clear leadership in addressing these issues of sexual assault and harassment” said Mark Spencer, Director of Public Policy, “The immediate introduction of legislation to put the recommendations of the Standing Committee’s report into effect and introduce age verification would demonstrate the Government’s commitment to provide such leadership”.
While welcoming the Government’s response he made it clear that this is only the first step in the process.
“The Government has flagged a 12 to 18 month period for further research and consultation”
“We know that those who oppose these measures, who want to continue to allow young people to have access to these materials will raise objections and concerns” he said.
“Parents and other who care about young people need to continue to encourage the Government to deliver on these recommendations.”
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