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IWF welcomes new measures to keep children safe from sexual predators on the internet

The Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse are a set of 11 actions tech firms should take to ensure children are not sexually exploited on their platforms.

IWF CEO Susie Hargreaves OBE, and founding member of the WePROTECT Board

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has welcomed new measures to keep children safe from sexual predators on the internet.

Today (March 5) sees the launch of the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse – a set of 11 actions tech firms should take to ensure children are not sexually exploited on their platforms.

The principles range from pledges to stop existing and new child sexual abuse material appearing on platforms, taking steps to stop the livestreaming of abuse, identify and stop grooming and predatory behaviour, and ensuring they are ahead of the evolving threat.

The principles were drafted by the Five Country Partners comprising the governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the USA, and were written in consultation with technology industry representatives.

Among the companies to endorse the principles were Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Snap and Roblox. The WePROTECT Global Alliance will be supporting and promoting the principles.

The IWF is the UK-based charity responsible for finding and removing child sexual abuse material from the internet.

IWF CEO Susie Hargreaves OBE, and founding member of the WePROTECT Board, said: “The IWF assists companies by providing services that fit their business needs and helps them keep their services free from child sexual abuse material.

“These voluntary principles are a welcome step in ensuring that internet companies in the five eyes countries are truly doing all that they can to prevent the spread of child sexual abuse material online.

“When our member companies join the IWF they make a voluntary commitment to do all that they can to keep their customers safe and remove this abhorrent content as quickly as possible.

“It is our hope that these principles will encourage more companies to follow the lead of our members and step up and do the right thing for victims of child sexual abuse.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel, said: “It is truly horrific that thousands of sick paedophiles are preying on vulnerable children from across the world.

“This scandal requires our global partners to work together, and these principles provide a blueprint for delivering just that.

“I want this landmark collaboration across borders and sectors to define a stronger, new, united approach.”

Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “We cannot allow children to fall victim to predators who lurk in the shadows of the web.

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