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Last update11:34:05 AM GMT

DVD age rating to be extended and Wi-Fi made ‘family friendly’

help key pictureThe government has announced that more DVDs are to carry age rating and more is to be done on online age ratings. Age ratings will be given to a range of video content that is currently exempt – such as some music and sports DVDs – so that those unsuitable for younger children will have to carry a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) age rating in future.

The announcement on 24 May was made jointly by the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The Government will also be announcing plans for public Wi-Fi providers to filter websites in public places to give parents the peace of mind that children will be protected from inappropriate websites when away from home.

The announcements come alongside the publication of the government’s Bailey Review, assessing the impact of measures to tackle the pressures on children to grow up too quickly.

The Video Recordings Act will be changed so that previously-exempt videos that are unsuitable for younger children will have to carry the familiar ‘12’, ‘15’ and ‘18’ BBFC age ratings in future. The changes are expected to come into force in 2014.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Government realises that the world has moved on since these exemptions were written into the Video Recordings Act some 30 years ago. The changes we’ve announced today will help ensure children are better protected, and that parents are provided with the information necessary for them to make informed choices about what their children view.”

Ministers are also calling on industry to develop solutions so that more online videos – particularly those that are likely to be sought out by children and young people – carry advice about their age suitability in future.

Wireless internet providers are also working with government to make their publicly available Wi-Fi family friendly in places where children regularly visit, and ensure children are protected from harmful content.

Edward Timpson, Children and Families Minister, commented: “Parents need to be confident that their children are not exposed to adult content when out and about in public places. This progress is encouraging. Through the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) we will push for a firmer commitment from Wi-Fi providers, retailers, shops and cafes so parents are reassured their children will not be able to access pornography when they are away from home.”

The independent Bailey Review, headed by the chief executive of the Mothers’ Union Reg Bailey, made a number of practical recommendations to the businesses, broadcasters and regulators to tackle the commercialisation and sexualisation of children.

Mr Bailey said: “It is almost two years since the publication of my report and I have been pleased to see that many parts of industry have risen to the challenge, with good progress made against my recommendations. By supporting parents to do their job, we can all make sure that children are allowed to be children.”

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013 16:18