It’s Time to Shine Light on Australia’s Shameful Secret

Shocking statistics on the number of Australian children contracting sexually transmitted infections (STI) are a symptom of a social issue that requires urgent national attention. Commenting on the findings, Wendy Francis, National Director of Politics of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said, “Australian adults are seriously neglecting the wellbeing of our nation’s children and it must be addressed. “We must urgently face the facts that a) a devastatingly high number of cases of STI’s occurring in 14-year-old children; b) a 600% explosion of infectious syphilis which is even infecting and killing babies; c) an estimated one in 27 young girls in Australia have chlamydia, d) an increase in Gonorrhea with most diagnoses, around 71%, detected in males. e) STI’s are often treated as a dirty little secret, even an inspiration for jokes. But STIs are no laughing matter. Our children are incurring the long-term side effects of STIs which include infertility, chronic pelvic pain, sores or ulcers around the mouth, anus, penis or vagina, nerve damage and damage to large vessels near the heart, even cancer. “It is way past time for politicians to address what is an obvious, and pressing, issue.”

“For many years experts have warned against the early sexualisation of children. Our refusal to listen has resulted in us now reaping the consequences of putting adults’ desires ahead of children’s innocence. For over a decade, the ACL has lobbied governments to pass legislation and enforce policies that would protect our children’s innocence. With no such policies, stores are free to fill their shelves with books like “Welcome to Sex” that explains various sexual practices in graphic picture detail. Billboards spruik adult clubs and concepts. Buses pick children up from school adorned with adult advertising. Pornographers allow children to access their adult sites, damaging their young minds. We continue to call for online age-verification legislation to protect children from pornography. It was encouraging to hear Senator David Pocock argue for this in estimates recently.  Francis continued, “In an attempt to find answers as to why the government fails to respond to their own recommendation to introduce age verification legislation, we asked the ESafety Commissioner why it is that the government can protect children from accessing gambling sites, but not pornography.

The answer given is that ‘online wagering services are subject to different obligations, including the Anti Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) which necessitates additional customer verification procedures that are not required for other age-restricted goods and services’ (pornography). We say change the obligations. “We say stop using school curriculum material that many believe sexually grooms young students by teaching them about gender identity and sexual orientation. “We say reinstate parental rights in alignment with the ICCPR prohibition against arbitrary interference with family. Australian parents should be able to monitor what their children are taught, exposed to, and confronted with. “The systematic sexualisation of our children has been allowed to go on for too long. There is no time to waste. It’s time to address the issues and reverse the rising trend of children with STIs.” Francis said. The ACL calls on the government, at the very least, to immediately initiate the recommendations from the Protecting the Age of Innocence parliamentary report regarding age-verification legislation.

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

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