We are concerned that sexually graphic material on the covers of newspapers and magazines displayed at the eye level of children is a contributing factor to the premature sexualisation of children which are seeing in our society. In the words of David Cameron, we appear to be ‘sleepwalking to a place where porn is the norm’.
During the election campaign Mr Cameron promised that if he was elected he would bring in ‘a series of new rules to help families protect children from premature sexualisation’
This was formalised as a Commitment Number 14 in the Coalition Agreement:
‘We need to make our society more family friendly and to take action to protect children from excessive commercialisation and premature sexualisation … We will crack down on irresponsible advertising and marketing, especially to children. We will also take steps to tackle the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood.”
We have lobbied government on this issue and we are hoping it may be possible to attach an amendment to the upcoming Education and Children’s bill to tackle the display of these publications. We are working with several other organisations for whom this is a concern and we are asking the Minister for Education to insert clauses into the Bill to introduce provisions to ensure that unsuitable sexually graphic material is not displayed at or below children's eye-level, near children's publications or without opaque sleeves. We also calling for printed media to be assigned age ratings such as are assigned to films.