Press Statement – 18 June 2013
The Catholic Education Service and CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) welcome the government’s focus on protecting children from harmful and explicit online content.
Today’s meeting at Downing Street chaired by Culture Sectary, Maria Miller provides an opportunity for the government to consider the impact that pornographic, violent or other harmful online content has on children’s’ development, mental health, relationships and self-esteem.
As the Catholic agencies with responsibility for education and welfare we hope that both the Government and internet service providers will take steps to allow children to explore the online world without fear of accessing adult or inappropriate content.
Detailed research by the Children’s Commissioner shows that significant numbers of children are still exposed to pornography, despite efforts to increase online safety, through the removal of adult content on public Wi-Fi and the appointment of Claire Perry MP as the Online Safety Advisor.
Parents have a duty to educate their children about online safety. However, it is important to provide them with necessary support to help them in this role. We support Baroness Howe of Idlicote’s Online Safety Bill as a means of providing this protection. The Bill proposes that Internet Service Providers and Mobile Phone Operators provide an opt-in service for adult content and we hope the government will offer support to the Bill and its proposals.
The Catholic Education Service (CES) is an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW).
CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network) is the social action arm of the Church in England and Wales. CSAN comprises 41 member charities who work with prisoners, homeless people, refugees, travellers, victims of trafficking and domestic abuse as well as with children living in poverty.
Note to editors
Online Safety Bill, sponsored by Baroness Howe of Idlicote, makes provision for the promotion of online safety; to require internet service providers and mobile phone operators to provide a service that excludes pornographic images; and to require electronic device manufacturers to provide a means of filtering content. The Bill has completed second reading and it Committee stage.
The Children’s Commissioner for England - “Basically... porn is everywhere” A Rapid Evidence Assessment on the Effects that Access and Exposure to Pornography has on Children and Young People – highlights children’s exposure and access to pornography and makes a series of recommendations to the government.