Tuesday, March 5, 2024
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Govt looks to mitigate impact of pornography

Cabinet has approved the establishment of a Taskforce to undertake public consultations, to better understand root causes and formulate evidence-based recommendations on mitigating the impact of pornography and illegal content on society.

In a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said three Opposition Members of Parliament will be invited to join the Taskforce.

Terms of Reference are:

(i) To better understand the root causes in the prevalence of pornography use and illegal content in Fiji;
(ii) To explore the potential relationship between compulsive use of pornography and:
(a) Sexual aggression/violence;
(b) negative mental health; and
(c) unhealthy attitudes towards sex;
(iii) To undertake multi-stakeholder and nationwide consultations and assess the societal impact with focus on, inter alia child pornography, exposure of children to inappropriate sexual content, and sexual violence associated with excessive pornographic use; and
(iv) Propose recommendations to address the root causes of pornography use with a view to put in place necessary and comprehensive safeguards and protections, with special attention to children.

The Taskforce will work towards developing evidence-based policies, interventions, and educational programs to promote healthy attitudes towards sexuality, mental and emotional well-being, and societal norms.

Members of the taskforce would include:
(i) Ministry of Trade, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises and Communications (Co-chair);
(ii) Ministry of Women, Children and Social Protection (Co-Chair);
(iii) Three Government MPs and three other Opposition MPs;
(iv) Office of the Solicitor-General;
(v) Ministry of i-Taukei Affairs, Culture, Heritage and Arts;
(vi) Ministry of Youth & Sports;
(vii) Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration;
(viii) Ministry of Education;
(ix) Cybercrime Unit, Fiji Police Force;
(x) Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions;
(xi) Online Safety Commission;
(xii) Representatives from Academia – Scholars with expertise in human sexuality, behavioural and attitudinal changes;
(xiii) Mental Health Professionals who are experts in counselling in addressing pornography consumption and mental well-being;
(xiv) Religious and Community leaders such as the Fiji Council of Churches in order to promote healthy attitudes towards sexuality and relationships;
(xv) Non-Governmental Organisations in particular those focused on mental health, and advocates for women, children and vulnerable groups;
(xvi) Telecommunications Authority of Fiji (TAF) as the regulatory authority; and
(xvii) Representatives of ICT service providers and experts from the technology sector to provide insights on the online distribution, and pornography consumption.

The Taskforce may co-opt additional stakeholders as needed, based on specific expertise and subcommittees can be formed to focus on specific areas, with leads from the Taskforce.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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