Skip to main content

Internet: Offences against Children

Question for Home Office

UIN HL14817, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that there is a coordinated approach to protecting children from sexual abuse online, for example through joining up the upcoming online harms legislation with the new strategy on violence against women and girls.

Answered on

26 April 2021

Violence against women and girls can have lifelong physical and mental impacts on victims, as well as causing knock-on negative effects for their families, friends and for society as a whole. The risks which existed ten years ago are still there, but the pace of societal and technological change means that new and evolving forms of abuse are continuously emerging.

We will be publishing a new Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy this year which will help to better target perpetrators and support victims of these crimes, and increase our ability to tackle emerging forms of VAWG such as ‘upskirting’ and revenge porn.

We are working closely both across government departments and within the Home Office to ensure the strategy is joined up with the upcoming online harms legislation in which the strongest protections from harmful or inappropriate content are for children and young people.

All companies in scope will be required to fulfil the duty of care by ensuring that they take reasonably practicable steps to tackle relevant illegal content, such as online child sexual exploitation and abuse, and protect children where they are likely to access their services. For content which is legal but harmful, the online safety legislation will close the gap between what companies say they do, and what they actually do by ensuring companies enforce their terms of service.

Answered by

Home Office