Public Opinion is Clear: Urgent Legislation Required to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation! Read the story

Why Does Online Child Safety Matter?

ECPAT Project Beacon – Why does it matter article series

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Since 2021, ECPAT International through Project Beacon, has been working with our members across the EU to advocate for a comprehensive EU Strategy to address online child sexual abuse. On 11 May 2022, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation to both prevent and combat child sexual abuse online. The regulation aims to clarify and standardise the process that technology companies must take to detect, remove, and report online child sexual abuse material and exploitative behaviours. 

At ECPAT, we support a legal requirement for all online service providers to ensure the proactive detection, removal, and reporting of child sexual abuse material online. The EU Commission’s proposal is only the first step to a EU-wide  and recognisable protocol to protect children online.  

Whether it’s for educational purposes, to connect with their friends, or to just play, the data shows that the digital is the norm for the younger generations. This trend is only growing and as more and more children are entering into a fuller emersed live in digital spaces, so too will the criminals that wish to prey on them.  

Digital platforms, as the owners/creators of these spaces,  share a duty of care to ensure that the children who use their platforms are safe from child sexual abuse and exploitation.

ECPAT calls on the EU to activate #ChildSafety online  

It is time that we regulate the online world with child safety in mind.

Politicians in the EU are currently discussing a law that, if approved, will require online service providers to detect, report, and remove child sexual abuse online, including images and videos of children being abused (child sexual abuse material) and dangerous messages aimed at children (grooming). In addition, online service providers will be required to adopt strong safeguarding mechanisms, such as age verification tools, to prevent child sexual abuse online in the first place.

Click on the images below and learn more about the intersections between online privacy and child protection