Organisation says children’s cyber safety must be a national priority
The ISPCC has told the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs of the importance of a cyber safety strategy for children.
In a presentation before the committee, the ISPCC included the findings of an internal review of cases of children who had been exploited, bullied and subject to harmful material online. The group has now called for immediate action by Government, including a National Cyber Safety Strategy for children.
Grainia Long CEO of the ISPCC said “The ISPCC is increasingly concerned about the extent to which children and young people are exposed to exploitation and harm online. While technology and social media bring many benefits, our work with children and young people has convinced us that as a society we are failing to prepare children to identify risks online, to cope when harm takes place and to empower children and young people to stay safe online. The issues are many and complex; however, we can find solutions to these challenges. Cyber safety is the child protection issue of our time - a comprehensive cyber-safety strategy for children is vital, to bring together the different areas of law reform, education, regulation and awareness that are necessary to allow us to protect our children."
The ISPCC outlined a number of specific recommendations to the Committee today which if adopted, will see children better protected online. These include
Ms Long concluded “We must do more to ensure children are better protected online. Government, state agencies, NGOs, industry and parents must work together in a coordinated effort to enhance legislation, policy and education."