Fact sheet – Anime, Pictures and Stories about Young People

You can talk to a lawyer for free at Tasmania Legal Aid.

To get free legal information call 1300 366 611 or use the Legal Talk chat from the bottom right hand corner of this website. Legal Talk and our phone lines are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

A lawyer can help you with:

- working out if something is illegal

- helping you at court if you have been charged.

Are some animations, pictures and stories about young people illegal?

Pictures, animations, and stories about young people are popular forms of entertainment. However some of these products can contain images or ideas that are illegal in Tasmania because of the way they portray and/or sexualise young people.

It is important to consider how people under the age of 18 are shown. The law makes it illegal to have media products (eg pictures, videos, stories or comics) that show children involved in sexual activity, or shows them in a sexual context, or shows them being abused or tortured. The law calls these “child exploitation material”.

Does it matter if they are cartoons?

No. The law does not treat drawings or animations any differently to pictures or videos of actual children. The law is aimed keeping children safe by stopping sexual images of children being available.

Does it matter if it is a written story?

No. The law is strict on this and it covers all descriptions of sexual activity of young people which includes texts which do not have any pictures at all. If the story contains inappropriate and offensive descriptions of sexual activity relating to young people it is illegal.

What about Anime from another country?

It does not matter that some countries have different laws. If something is popular and available on the internet from another country it may be illegal in Tasmania and you could be guilty of a crime. It doesn’t matter if it is easily accessible or that you believed it was legal.

What if I accidentally see or get sent inappropriate media?

You should immediately delete any material that is illegal. You should not keep the material or send it to any other person.

What punishment could I get? 

Tasmania has very serious penalties for committing offences related to accessing, possessing, making or posting/sending inappropriate media about young people. You can receive a maximum penalty of 21 years in prison for each offence.

You may also be added to the “community protection register” which means you will have many ongoing requirements even after you have served your other punishments. This registration means you will have to advise the police of your addresses, phone numbers, social media accounts, passwords and all interactions you have with young people.

What if I am charged?

If you are charged with an offence as a result of possessing, creating or distributing any stories, pictures or videos which depict young people you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Last updated: 2-February-2022