Children as young as 11 have been charged with child pornography offences following a sharp rise in cases predominantly associated with “sexting” between Australian teens.
The exchange of graphic photos amongst school-age Australians has exploded in recent years with the proliferation of smartphones and apps like Snapchat.
Authorities are warning that under current laws, teens caught sexting risk being charged with serious offences carrying potentially devastating, life-long consequences.
Adelaide’s Advertiser reports South Australian authorities have seen a threefold rise in offences recorded under child pornography laws, to 44 offences last financial year. The state’s attorney-general, John Rau, plans to raise the issue with his state counterparts and the federal AG, George Brandis.
The consequences can be ruinous for young people, including potentially having their names added to the Sex Offenders Register.
Rau told The Advertiser one possible response was “discreetly separating this particular part of behaviour” and having cases dealt with through a “court-based intervention program” rather than criminal charges.
Schools and parents are making efforts to warn students of the dangers and reduce or eliminate the behaviour. There’s stacks more more at the ‘Tiser.