Using children and young people in sexually provocative advertising in Western Australia could be made an offence, with a parliamentary committee suggesting its consideration.
In its Sexualisation of Children report, the Joint Standing Committee on the Commissioner for Children and Young People also recommends the WA government look at regulating child beauty pageants.
Both could be achieved by amending the Children and Community Services Act, the committee said.
It also recommended consideration be given to changing the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Enforcement Act to prohibit the sale, supply, demonstration, possession or advertisement of an R-rated computer game in WA.
Another suggestion was to examine developing a specific code of conduct to address concerns about the impact of sexually explicit music videos on youngsters.
The committee also recommended monitoring the recommendations of a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into “sexting” to determine if there are any ways to reduce the negative impact of the increasingly common practice on children and teens.
“While the impact of sexualisation on children is difficult to quantitatively measure, and to distinguish from other influences in their lives, this does not mean that the issue should not be addressed,” the committee said.
“The Committee is equally aware that what is seen as a priority issue that needs substantive action by some members of society may be seen by others as normal experimentation or fun.
“While it may be the case that there is uncertainty and confusion about whether particular items or images constitute sexualisation of children, it is clear there is considerable anxiety amongst parents and society more broadly.”
The committee has asked WA Attorney General Michael Mischin to examine the report.