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Australian Government Moves Towards Age Verification

The Federal Government has announced an inquiry into age verification for online wagering and online pornography. We welcome the government's strong leadership on this issue and note the cross-party representation on the committee. This is an important first step and one we must all support to create a safer online childhood for children. The Federal House of Representatives is inviting written submissions, addressing one or more of the terms of reference for this inquiry, to be received by Friday, 25 October 2019. Access the Terms of Reference here

THE PROBLEM

  • Children in Australia currently have unfettered access to hardcore pornography 24/7.
  • Researched harms include poor mental health; sexism and objectification; sexual aggression and violence; child-on-child sexual abuse; and shaping sexual behaviours. 
  • The issue and impacts of pornography are considered an issue of public health concern, particularly relating to the impacts of pornography on children and young people.

ONE OF THE SOLUTIONS

  • Age Verification (AV) places responsibility on the suppliers of pornography to verify the age of consumers using their sites.
  • AV occurs through utilising a third-party trusted verification process that accesses existing robust data sources (credit card, driver's licence, etc.). AV companies do not hold the data—they request verification from existing sources to ascertain the age of the person requesting to be verified. Porn sites do not have access to the data.
  • AV measures are a proposed component of the UK plans to reduce online harms.

Information about Age Verification to Support your Submission

AV is not a “silver bullet”. Other digital child protection buffers are needed to sit alongside AV—education will always be an important piece; however, AV is an essential child protection measure that concerned Australians need to support.

Helpful information to assist you to write your submission

  • For a complete list of frequently asked questions, visit our Age Verification FAQ's page.
  • Access our Example Submission and detailed submission guidance.
  • Any individual or organisation can make a submission to a parliamentary committee. There is no set format or length. Learn more about how to make your submission here
  • For organisations putting in a submission, indicate how many people you represent.
  • If you have a personal story about how pornography has impacted your child, you may like to include this and submit anonymously; or forward us your stories to include with our submission.
  • Keep the focus of submissions on harms to children and child protection, which may also include the impact on families, strain on support services to assist kids and families harmed by pornography, and the broader financial and social costs to the community.
  • Avoid religious arguments or jargon. Avoid using the term “clean feed”. Use logical and/or researched discussions to articulate your viewpoint. 

We believe that every child in Australia deserves a porn free childhood. The reality is, we are failing our kids because they currently have 24/7 access to hardcore porn. Without intervention, education and support, our kids are developing distorted sexual expectations which can lead to addiction and sexual abuse. 

If you would like to add your name to our submission you may - please contact Tamara Newlands directly for details. However, ideally, we would like to see thousands of submissions representing hundreds of thousands of children, giving the government the social proof it needs to act. It's never been more important than now to use your voice to positively impact our kids future. 

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DOWNLOAD A WORD DOCUMENT WITH DETAILED SUBMISSION GUIDANCE

 

Page updated: October 9, 2019

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Their Future. Your Voice.

I stand for…

  • A world where kids can grow up without being harmed by accessing graphic, violent online pornography
  • Prevention of children’s access to pornography through digital child protection buffers
  • Updated legislation and education to address pornography as a public health crisis that increases children and young people's vulnerabilities to sexual harms

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