Scottish Government partners with IWF to further enhance children’s safety online

Published:  Fri 8 Sep 2023

The Scottish Government has become the latest member of the Internet Watch Foundation - the UK child protection charity that aims to make the internet a safer place by identifying and removing online images and videos of child sexual abuse.

This will help to ensure the online safety of children and young people who use its national digital learning platform, Glow, to access a range of educational services. Managed by Education Scotland, Glow already uses a range of protective measures within its environment. Becoming a member of the IWF means that Education Scotland now has access to additional unique services to help look after users online. Membership of the IWF provides access to research, intelligence, data, expertise and services which are all focused on the online protection of children and young people.

Education Secretary, Jenny Gilruth, said: "As digital technologies continue to advance at a rapid rate, it is important that we do everything we can to ensure that children are protected from harm online. That is why we have made the move to become a member of the IWF, which will strengthen our existing child protection measures and ensure that our young people can interact in a safer online environment."

Internet Watch Foundation CEO Susie Hargreaves OBE, said: “By choosing to become an IWF Member, the Scottish Government is reinforcing its commitment to children’s safety online, and there has never been a more critical time to do so. 

“Though the internet provides significant opportunities for our children to learn, to grow and to connect with others, it is essential that we ensure that they can do so in a secure environment that has their protection at its heart.

“Child sexual abuse online is a global problem and tech companies, governments and child protection organisations like ourselves all have a role to play to protect children on the internet, and we are so proud to now have two of the UK’s devolved parliamentary bodies in membership, specifically for their online digital learning platforms.”

In 2022, 199,363 of the webpages the IWF confirmed globally as child sexual abuse material contained images and videos made and/or shared via an internet connected device with a camera, most often in the child’s own home. Of these, 63,057 reports related to imagery which had been created of children aged 7-10, a 1,058 per cent increase since 2019.

The IWF Home Truths campaign aims to raise awareness of the risks online and to motivate parents and carers to talk to their child/children about their online lives. Find out more here.

Find out more here about becoming a Member and the services the IWF can provide.

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