Australia Eyes Overhaul of National Censorship System

Jun 24, 2011 8:00 AM PST

SYDNEY — An Australian Senate committee report is calling for an overhaul of the country’s censorship system.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the legislators feel the existing R18+ censorship rating system is fundamentally flawed by not protecting children from porn and does not stop the legal availability of ''graphic depictions of actual sex'' in some regions.

An overhaul of the classification system is being called for with tighter rules aimed an addressing community concerns over the “sexualization” of society and the objectification of women.

The committee’s study found that the rating system — created to allow only simulated sex — was being ignored and “numerous films” showing graphic sex and violence were being sold in some jurisdictions.

Concerns were also raised about restricted adult magazines being displayed in shops next to comics and DVDs.

The report also wanted ''artistic merit'' defenses to child porn axed from all parts of the country. ''Sexualized images of naked children can be exhibited in public galleries under the guise of 'art','' it said.

Mobile devices and all media would fall under the new restrictions. The committee also wants references to the “context”  of the content be removed, claiming they help push explicit material into lower classifications.

The committee said a “truly” national rating system would ensure that sexually explicit material that's now available in some states would not leak out nationally.

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