Child Protection Online

Emma-McClarkin-Safer-Internet-DayCampaigns to protect children online have been a priority throughout my time in the European Parliament and I was proud to be made an Internet Watch Foundation Champion for my commitment to fighting against child sexual abuse content on the internet.

In the Culture and Education Committee I have just started work on an opinion to the report looking at combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography.

As politicians, we are constantly working to raise awareness about how we can best tackle these crimes, and this opinion gives this Committee an excellent opportunity to suggest some clear and coherent guidelines to best enable Member States to build on the work they are doing correctly, and also suggest opportunities for improvement.

There are two major points for Member States to tackle. The first involves removing child sexual abuse material in their territory and the second is ensuring there are barriers to stop this uploaded content in the first place.

As the opinion clearly identifies, I would also urge Member States to follow the impressive example set by the Internet Watch Foundation in the UK and enable hotlines to actively and proactively search for child sexual abuse material. The facts speak for themselves. The UK now hosts less than 0.1% of child sexual abuse imagery globally due to this zero tolerance approach of removing webpages and I would urge all Member States to follow this positive example.

These are crimes that go beyond national borders and we must show that protecting children online is a priority and one that we will all work collaboratively together to tackle. We must show those that wish to commit this crime that they are faced with a coherent and unified opposition that spans across different Member States and political ideologies. They must know that we have a clear line and will work constructively together and with nations around the world to win this battle.

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