, child pornography
is legally defined in the National Classification Code as "(publications, films or videotapes) that ... describe, or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or who looks like, a child under 16 (whether the person is engaged in a sexual activity or not)". Not only is it highly illegal to produce and sell child pornography in Australia but in the ACT
, New South Wales
, Western Australia
and South Australia
it is illegal to possess these sorts of images. Punishment for possession can be up to 7 years imprisonment in some states.
This creates quite a bit of controversy because while most people agree that sexual images of children (ie. those under 16) should be illegal, this piece of legislation goes a step further and also bans the use of adults portrayed as children in sexual images. While the sexual abuse of a child has not occured, these images help to create a market for further child sexual abuse. Creating and possessing this sort of material is saying that it is appropriate to sexualise young children and teenagers.
By banning possession of child pornography the Australian legal system is also acknowledging the role consumers play in creating a market. While those who own this material have not been directly involved in the sexual abuse of the child involved, they are providing income for those who make the pornography. This means they are just as responsible for the pain and suffering endured by the child.
*Information for this node was taken from www.inhope.org