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Monday, 13 February 2012
Page: 1038

Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Children

Debate resumed on the motion by Ms Rishworth:

That this House:

(1) acknowledges the findings of the Letting the Children be Children review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood commissioned by the Government of the United Kingdom including that:

(a) children are growing and developing against the backdrop of a culture of increasing commercialisation and sexualisation;

(b) parents are concerned about clothing, services and products for children which reinforce gender stereotypes and portray children as being more sexually mature than their chronological age would indicate;

(c) children are under considerable pressures to be consumers; and

(d) parents often feel their concerns are not being listened to despite the fact that they are often in the best position to decide what is appropriate for their children;

(2) welcomes the Ministerial Statement in respect of this review by the Government of the United Kingdom which acknowledges the need to protect children from excessive commercialisation and premature sexualisation, and accepts the recommendation that efforts to address this are focused on industry and regulators with government monitoring progress and legislating to protect children if necessary;

(3) notes with concern that the sexualisation of children is a growing issue not just in the United Kingdom but also in Australia;

(4) recognises that the sexualisation of children, and in particular girls, has been associated with a range of negative consequences including body image issues, eating disorders, low self esteem and mental ill health; and

(5) urges governments, industries, regulators and the wider community in Australia to take note of the Letting the Children be Children report and to work together to address the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood.