Significant progress regarding online child protection
June has been a momentous month with significant progress being made at parliamentary level re. protecting children and young people from being exposed to pornography and other harmful content online:
- Earlier this month, leading internet service providers (ISPs), search engines, mobile phone operators and social media companies including Google, BT and TalkTalk were called to a meeting with Government Ministers in a bid to combat online child sex abuse images (child pornography) and other harmful content online. Listen here to find out more.
- Culture Secretary, Rt. Hon Maria Miller MP, has publicly spoken of her desire to do MORE to protect children and young people's innocence online- let's pray for continued progress in this area.
- Sunday Times hosted a symposium which featured Shadow Health Minister Diane Abbott MP, Claire Perry MP and leading anti-porn campaigner and feminist, Prof Gail Dines, who also spoke to members of Parliament earlier in the day about the social cost of pornography. Gail Dines has been instrumental in helping the Icelandic Government with its proposed legislation to limit access to violent internet pornography. The Icelandic law will employ an emphasis on children's right to a safe and nourishing environment and women's civil rights.
- Baroness Howe's Online Safety Bill is currently awaiting its 2nd Reading before the Summer recess and support for this continues to develop in the House of Lords with questions posed to the House by Baroness Benjamin on this issue.
- The Churches Child Protection Advisory Services, in partnership with Premier hosted a major two day on conference international safeguarding conference entitled Safeguarding and Faith: Worldwide Perspectives, Challenges and Solutions. The conference brought together safeguarding experts from both the faith sector and the statutory agencies to examine major challenges identified in the worldwide fight against child abuse.
- Public support for an automatic porn filter is increasing. According to a ComRes / ITV News poll, 73% of people believe search engines should filter out all pornographic online content unless people specifically opt in to access it.
All this news is very encouraging but it is crucial that we continue to lobby the Government and harness this momentum to achieve better measures to protect children and young people online. Here are two ways you can get involved:
- Rt. Hon Maria Miller MP wants to do more re. protecting children online and has written about this in national press. Please email Maria Miller to thank her and encourage her in efforts at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Support in the Lords is growing for Baroness Howe's Online Safety Bill. However it is vital that as many people as possible write to a peer and encourage them to support this initiative as far as possible. For more information on how you can do this click here.
To protect children I call on the Government to force Internet Service Providers to make accessing pornography an adult only opt-in service.
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