All children:

  • have the right to be safe and protected from harm
  • have the right to accurate, age-appropriate information and education
  • need positive responses to develop understanding rather than guilt, shame and confusion, and
  • need to learn about rules, boundaries and social cues gradually and developmentally.

The Traffic Lights framework

The Traffic Lights framework provides an overview of sexual behaviours that may be exhibited by children and young people in developmental stages to assist identification of age appropriate and inappropriate sexual behaviours when considered within the contexts of family, culture and school. It is not intended to be used as a diagnostic tool.

It is an initiative by the Queensland government.

GREEN: normal, developmentally expected sexual behaviours. The appropriate response is to provide opportunities to give information and feedback relevant to the child’s age.

ORANGE: sexual behaviours outside normal in terms of persistency, frequency or inequality. These require further observation and targeted support.

RED: harmful or problem sexual behaviours that indicate a need for immediate protective intervention and intensive follow up support.

For more information view a video by Judy Graham at The Department of Education and Training.

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Holly Brennan, Healthed Annual Women’s & Children’s Health Update, Brisbane 2011