Government should not shy away from legislation to protect children

Days after the release of the much lauded Bailey Review on the sexualisation of childhood, a media watchdog has said that the media and retail industry must take the concerns of parents seriously.

The Bailey Review calls for a clampdown on sexual imagery in music videos, advertising and TV shows, and said that the views of parents should be taken more seriously by broadcasters and regulators like Ofcom.

Campaign group Safermedia welcomed the recommendation of a website where parents can raise concerns if they have seen something they feel is unsuitable for children.

The recommendations in the report are voluntary, but the Government has not ruled out the possibility of legislation if the industry fails to clean its act up by itself.

In a statement, Safermedia welcomed the new website for parents and said that a “strengthening” of Ofcom’s Code was “crucial”.

“At long last parents are being listened to and it is very important the industry begins to involve parents more and reduce the burden they face in trying to protect their children from commercial pressures,” it said.

It welcomed the Bailey Review’s calls for stricter controls on the broadcast of raunchy music videos and the placement of advertising with nudity or sexualised imagery away from schools.

The group was positive about the recommendation to improve current levels of protection from sexualised content on the internet, but advised the Government to go further by supporting calls for the default setting for pornography to be turned off at network level rather than device level.

It said: “We hope the industry will implement the recommended changes but we also believe the Government must be firm in its commitment and not shy away from legislation if necessary.

“Meanwhile parents must continue to make their voices heard on this issue.”

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