Twitter and IWF boost international online safety campaign for parents to support child safety during lockdown

Published:  Fri 1 May 2020

An international campaign promoting online safety advice has been launched to help parents and carers keep their children safe during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The series of videos was created in collaboration with five governments, six companies and numerous NGOs within a two-week period. They’ve been sponsored by End Violence Against Children and can be watched on their website www.end-violence.org/safeonlinecovid

Minister for Security The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said: “I welcome the work of the tech industry on this vital campaign in collaboration with the UK and global partners. We know children may be at greater risk during these unprecedented times. It’s by tech companies working together - and working with others - that we can stop our kids being sexually abused and exploited online.”

The campaign links to government advice on the support to keep children safe online during coronavirus and the sources of help available. 

It is a further way government, industry and organisations are working together to tackle CSEA. Earlier this year tech companies adopted Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, which is a blueprint to keep children safe online.

IWF CEO Susie Hargreaves OBE, said: “There’s a lot of pressure on parents and carers during this lockdown, but if you do one thing today, please watch this short video, check out the resources, and put measures in place to protect your children online, no matter what age they are.

“We’re concerned about the vulnerabilities of children online during this lockdown period. Our police partners have warned that around 300,000 people in the UK alone currently pose a threat to children online.

“Our analysts who are essential workers during this lockdown are seeing first-hand that there is a slowdown in the removal of child sexual abuse material online across the globe.

“As the UK’s reporting hotline for child sexual abuse imagery, we see the evidence of these cruel crimes committed against children well after the crime itself has taken place. We fear that the real impact of this lockdown will be seen in the many weeks and months, and possibly years, to come when new footage of children being sexually abused emerges online.

“That’s why we’re working closely with Twitter to ensure that we reach every parent in the UK with online safety tips and advice. We all know that this is important at any time, but it’s even more so now.”

Katy Minshall, Head of Government, Public Policy and Philanthropy at Twitter UK said: “Helping people find reliable information on Twitter is always our focus - that includes helping parents on the service gain access to useful resources, detailing ways they can protect their children online. These video assets are a helpful and engaging way for parents to learn some of the steps they can take to help their children stay safe online. We're glad to play a part in facilitating this work, with the IWF’’

 

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