International Advocates Call on Australia to Protect Children from Pornography

NCOSE Press Statement logo

WASHINGTON, DC (September 19, 2023) – Two international letters from advocates around the globe have called on the Australia government to reconsider implementing age verification measures to protect children from accessing online pornography sites.

The first letter, organized by feminist organization Collective Shout, features signatures from 43 prominent Australian women’s safety and child protection experts, including Robert Fitzgerald AM, Commissioner and Member of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and Katherine Berney, Executive Director of the National Women’s Safety Alliance. This letter calls attention to the efficacy of age verification, and states, “It is our strong view that the Government has allowed itself to be swayed by industry resistance to an age verification system. Vested interests should not have been put before the wellbeing of children.”

The second letter was sent by the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE), along with international survivors and experts from 15 countries outside of Australia, to Australian Minister of Communications Hon Michelle Rowland MP, that states, “Australian children are presently exposed to grave harm and vulnerability without adequate protection from exposure to violent, racist, and incest-themed pornography, and we cannot afford to delay action any longer,” and asks the government to “swiftly roll out a trail and pilot program to protect children.”

“We are calling on Australia’s leaders not to abandon children to the pornography industry and to enact online age verification. This is commonsense protection for children that Germany, France, and several states in the United States have implemented or are pursuing,” said Haley McNamara, Vice President, International Centre on Sexual Exploitation.

“Modern pornography is rife with child sexual abuse material, rape, sex trafficking, and other violent and harmful content. Pornography has been linked to a plethora of mental, social, and sexual harms to youth that cannot be ignored. We call on Australia’s leaders to safeguard their youth and implement robust age verification measures.”

About the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE) 
Utilizing cutting edge tactics for private and public policy advocacy and building on a decade of coalition-building experience, the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE) works to bolster the global abolitionist movement. ICOSE is a division of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). 

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)  
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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