On 10-11 December 2014, representatives from over 50 countries meet in London for the #WeProtect global summit to discuss how to end online child sexual exploitation and agree a coordinated global response.
At the summit, the Prime Minister announced new laws to tackle child sexual exploitation online. A new offence has been introduced to prevent adults from sending sexual communications to a child, including sending a sexual message or soliciting sexual images. It follows a campaign by the NSPCC to close this ‘flaw in the law’.
The Prime Minister also announced that it would also be made illegal to possess content offering guidance on abusing children - what he called "paedophile training manuals".
Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet, and Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, said:
“We support this government initiative to help ensure the law offers fuller protection for children and young people online, and that police have the power to act. Technology is a fast moving area, and inevitably, the abuse of technology is also evolving. It is important that legal protections are kept up to speed.”
“However, the law can only be a part of the solution and there is a clear role for others, including parents, carers, educators, and industry. We need to make sure that children are equipped to deal with requests for sexual images and know where to turn and who they can tell.”
Tips for parents, carers and educators
- Tell someone: Talk to children about what to do if someone sends them a sexual message or makes them feel uncomfortable – they need to know they can turn to you, and that it can be reported to the police.
- Report it: If you have concerns that your child has received sexual communications from an adult, report to your local police or to CEOP.
- Think before you post: It’s important to talk to your child about online privacy, and what type of content they share and with who. Once any image has been sent, it is then out of your control.