Ireland

Population

4,892,395

Population 0‑14

21.5%

Internet Users

82.5%

Facebook Users

2,600,000

Mobile Subscribers

4,900,000
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

In 2004 the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) published the report, ‘Curriculum, Assessment and ICT in the Irish Context: A Discussion Paper’, which articulated its vision of integrating ICT into the curriculum and assessment in Irish schools. The paper was developed with the aim of starting a discussion on the potential of ICT to support and extend its curriculum development and assessment work.

Three years later, the NCCA developed a Framework for ICT in Curriculum and Assessment which outlines the kinds of ICT learning experiences a student should receive in their primary and post-primary education. It had four objectives, which focused on enabling students to create, communicate and collaborate with ICT; develop ICT foundational knowledge, skills and concepts; think critically and creatively with ICT; and understand the social and personal impact of ICT.

The NCCA developed a Guidelines for Teachers on ICT in the primary school curriculum as a supporting document to the Primary School Curriculum of 1999. The guidelines were launched by the Department of Education and Science (DES) in 2004 and provided teachers with support on planning for ICT in the classroom. In addition, they included a series of examples demonstrating how ICT could be utilized to add value to teaching and learning, such as using the Internet for exploration and research. At the post-primary level, the role of ICT in curriculum and assessment is a key focus, with ICT being established as a teaching and learning tool; as an integral part of the curriculum, or as an integral part of curriculum and assessment (e.g. the use of CAD in Design and Communications Graphics or Music Technology in Music). During reviews of senior cycle education, there has been a particular focus on the role of ICT in subjects to ensure that opportunities for integrating ICT have been developed.

During the 2006/2007 school year, the NCCA worked with 49 teachers to gather feedback on the ICT Framework in schools and published a report describing the school-based development initiative.

The National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) provides internet safety advice to schools in Ireland. They promote the use of filtering software and the implementation of an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), which is backed by the DES. The Department has developed a template of an AUP, tailored for use by post-primary schools. In addition, the Department also provides guidelines on the safe use of the Internet, downloading content, e-mail, chat rooms, newsgroups, and netiquette.

The NCTE also manages the project Webwise, an Internet safety initiative focusing on raising awareness of online safety issues and practice among students, their parents and teachers. Launched by Minister for Education & Science in February 2006, Webwise provides information, advice and tools including streamed videos, interactive online resources, and advice sheets. In honor of Safer Internet Day 2016, Webwise launched information resources called Lockers on the issue of sexting.

According to an article published in January 2015, Irish Children are much more educated in comparison to their peers in Europe when it comes to Internet safety.

Believe in Children Barnardo’s Northern Ireland - Safe Choices Northern Ireland

Focused on reducing the sexual exploitation of children and young people and to reduce cases involving missing children. Safe Choices is a regional service, which provides services within all “five health and Social Care Trust areas”.

Child Watch Ireland

Focused on researching and educating children, teenagers, parents and teachers about computer, internet and mobile phone based security risks that are factors in their lives.

GSMA Europe

This industry association represents the interests of European mobile network operators. The group engages in lobbying in areas such as children’s use of mobile phones, privacy, digital inclusion and reducing the digital gender gap. In 2008, the organization formed a mobile alliance against child sexual abuse content.

Hotline.ie

The Irish Internet hotline, provides a portal to the Internet users for anonymous reporting of suspected illegal content, such as Child Sexual exploitation material that they may come across online, in a secure and confidential way. Hotline is funded by Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland (ISPAI).

International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Europe

The ITU is is the UN agency for ICTs. Areas of focus in Europe include improving E-accessibility in Central and Eastern Europe, transitioning Europe to digital broadcasting, and sharing best practices for implementing e-applications.

Internet Governance Forum

The IGF was founded by the UN in 2006 to serve as a discussion platform for internet governance policy issues. It brings together various stakeholders to determine best practices for internet policy. Past areas of focus include cybersecurity, human rights, inclusivity and openness.

INTERPOL

INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. Its mission is to enable police forces to collaborate globally to fight crime in the Internet age. Three areas of focus are crimes against children (with a focus on internet crimes and travelling sex offenders), cybercrime and human trafficking.

National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE)

Part of the Department of provides guidance to schools on how to implement an Acceptable Use Policy, educate children on how to use the Internet safely and installing filtering and monitoring systems.

Paedophile Investigation Unit

Part of Ireland Police Force that works with the Computer Crime Investigation Unit to deal with online child abuse cases. The members of the Unit are certified by the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS) as computer forensic examiners (CFCE)” (An Garda Siochana, 2016).

Scoilnet

A web portal for Irish Education. Its Resource Finder links to a vast number of online resources to support teaching and learning. There are dedicated sections for teachers, students, parents and school management.

The Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)

The agency was established on January 1, 2014. Its 4,000 staff are dedicated to children welfare and children protection services. It provides the following services: child protection and welfare, alternative care, family support early years inspection, educational welfare services, and domestic and sexual gender based violence.

The Children and young People's Services Committees (CYPSC)

Country-level committees that are focused on improving outcomes for children and young people through coordination of services for children and young people in every county in Ireland. They provide a forum for joint planning and coordination of activity to ensure that children, young people and their families receive improved and accessible services.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Founded on June 2, 2011 and the department sits at Cabinet table. It is responsible for all issues that impact children, including child protection, bringing together policy and provision for children, young people and families. It oversights the following organizations : The child and Family Agency (TUSLA), the Adoption Authority of Ireland and the Office of Ombudsman for Children.

The Health Services Executive (HSE)

Responsible for all public health and social care services in Ireland.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC)

The society operates the Childline and Childline Online services in the country, providing help and support to children 24 hours a day. The ISPCC Shield campaign deals specifically with supporting children who have been bullied, and with bullying prevention. An SMS service is available so that children can receive support by text message.

The Office for Internet Safety (OIS)

The office is responsibility for Internet Safety online. The OIS was established in March of 2008 as an executive office of the Department of Justice and Equality.OIS’ main goal is to build a collaborative bridge between all Departments and Agencies to promote Internet Safety and in particular, combat child poronography. The OIS is also overseeing and building on the voluntary framework in place under the Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland (ISPAI). The website of the Irish Office for Internet Safety (OIS) provides information for parents and children on how to stay safe online. In addition, the site gives details of the Safer Internet Ireland Project, part of the European Union’s Safer Internet Action Plan.

ThinkB4UClick

Jointly developed by the NCTE and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) for teachers of Junior Certificate CSPE who wish to explore the issue of online privacy in the context of online rights and responsibilities.

Watch Your Space

The initiative is run by Webwise, the Irish Internet Safety Awareness Centre. It is a member of the Insafe network and the SaferInternetIE (SII) project. This is a consortium of industry, education, child welfare and government partners that provide awareness, hotline and helpline functions and activities in the Republic of Ireland.

Webwise

Irish Internet Safety Awareness Centre, which was co-founded by European Union Safer Internet Programme and the Department of Education and Skills. Webwise provides a great resource to teachers, parents, and students about both the merits and the potential risks associated to the use of Internet and mobile devices.

A Survey on the Transposition of Directive 2011/93/EU on Combating Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography (2016)

Together Against Sexual Exploitation of Children

The study examines how seven key provisions of Directive 2011/93/EU on the fight against sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography have been adopted by the 27 European Union (EU) Member States bound by the Directive.

Child sexual exploitation: a study of international comparisons (2015)

Cameron, G., Sayer, E. M., Thomson, L., and Wilson, S

The report focuses on the issue of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in high income countries, including Sweden, Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.

How parents of young children manage digital devices at home: the role of income, education and parental style (2015)

Livingstone, Sonia, Mascheroni, Giovanna, Dreier, Michael, Chaudron, Stephane, Lagae, Kaat

The report compares strategies of parental mediation on the internet according to levels of parental education and household income. The aim was to inform policy-makers and practitioners on how to approach parental guidance and awareness raising.

Combatting Child Sexual Abuse (2015)

Petra Jeney

The study provides an overview of existing legislation at European Union, Member State and the international level related to online child sexual abuse, as well as the role of law enforcement agencies in combatting child sexual abuse online and other governmental and private sector initiatives.

Child Sexual Explitation: A study of International Comparison (2015)

The Virtual Staff College

This report presents a rapid desk review of international comparisons of CSE.

The impact of internet and new media on the occurrence of violence against children in Europe and Cyprus (2015)

Rosella Sala

This document demonstrate that countries lack of expertise on child sexual exploitation and struggle combating this issue by their own. It suggests to establish an international legal framework to prosecute offenders and protect children.

Global Research Project: A Global Landscape of Hotlines Combating Child Sexual Abuse Material on the Internet and an Assessment of Shared Challenges (2015)

Melissa Stroebe, Stacy Jeleniewski, PhD

This report examines hotlines combating Internet-facilitated Child Sexual Abuse Material.

Mapping Safer Internet Policies in the Member States (2014)

P. Baudouin, B. Mahieu, T. Dor, B. Good, J. Milayi, S. Nakajima

The purpose of the study was to set up a framework for analysing Better Internet for Children public policies covering EU Member States, and Norway and Iceland.

Children’s Online Risks and Opportunities: Comparative Findings from EU Kids Online and Net Children Go Mobile (2014)

S. Livingstone, G. Mascheroni, K. Ólafsson, L. Haddon

This study focuses on European children's internet habits, their exposure to risks and parental mediation strategies.

Final recommendations for policy (2014)

O’Neill, B., Staksrud, E

Combining all the EU Kids Online policy guidance into one resource, this report provides more than 30 proposed actions for making the Internet safer for children.

Net Children Go Mobile: initial findings from Ireland. (2014)

O’Neill, B. & Dinh, T.

This report looks at the data gathered from 500 children and their parents in Ireland, as part of the Net Children Go Mobile (NCGM) project.

Net Children Go Mobile Final Report (2014)

Giovanna Mascheroni, Andrea Cuman

Final report on implementation of Net Children Go Mobile project.

Net Children Go Mobile: Final Report (2014)

G. Mascheroni, A. Cuman

The paper reports the findings of research in nine countries on children's use of technology, risky behaviors and parental mediation.

European Children and Their Carers’ Understanding of Use, Risks and Safety Issues Relating to Convergent Mobile Media (2014)

L. Haddon, J. Vincent

This study focuses on children’s experience of mobile media and the mobile internet, with an emphasis on smartphones and tablets, based on a qualitative study of children, their parents, teachers and others working with young people in nine European countries.

Policy Influences and Country Clusters: A Comparative Analysis of Internet Safety Policy Implementation (2014)

B. O'Neill

The report examines the policy context of internet safety and looks at how countries within each cluster approach implementation.

Country classification: opportunities, risks, harm and parental mediation (2013)

Helsper, E.J., Kalmus, V., Hasebrink, U., Sagvari, B., and de Haan, J.

This report explores the range and type of online opportunities and risks experienced by children in each country. The ways in which parents mediate or regulate their children’s internet use is also examined.

Latest Thinking on European Policies and Practices (2013)

E. Morris

This policy brief focuses on the state of online safety, digital citizenship and data privacy in Europe.

In their own words: what bothers children online? (2013)

Livingstone S., Kirwil, L., Ponte C. and Staksrud E., with the EU Kids Online network

The results of a survey of nearly 10,000 children in 25 countries across Europe, this report details what children say upsets them and their friends online

Country Classification: Opportunities, Risks, Harm and Parental Mediation (2013)

Helsper, E. J., Kalmus, V., Hasebrink, U., Sagvari, B. and De Haan, J. with members of the EU Kids Online network

With data from 25 of the European countries surveyed in EU Kids Online, the report examines the range and type of online opportunities, risks and harm which children from each country experience, as well as looking at ways in which parents control or mediate their children’s Internet use.

Overview and Analysis of 1:1 Learning Initiatives in Europe (2013)

Intel

Intel 's report on the status of 1:1 Learning Initiative in Europe

Risks and safety on the internet: Comparing Brazilian and European children (2013)

Barbosa, A., O’Neill, B., Ponte, C., Simões, J.A., Jereissati, T.,

This study compares the results of the survey of Brazilian children and their parents/guardians, carried out by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee. Using the same methodology as the EU Kids Online research, the results from Brazil are compared with those from Europe.

Zero to Eight - Young Children and Their Internet Use (2013)

Holloway, D., Green, L., and Livingstone, S. with members of the EU Kids Online network,

This report reviews a number of other studies and provides recommendations as to how younger children can be protected from online risks.

Excessive Internet Use by European Children (2012)

D. Smahel, E. Helsper, L. Green, V. Kalmus, L. Blinka, K. Ólafsson

This report presents new findings and further analysis of the EU Kids Online 25-country survey regarding excessive use of the internet by children.

EU Kids Online: National perspectives (2012)

Haddon, L., Livingstone, S., EU Kids Online Network

This report summarizes the Internet experiences of children in the 33 participating EU Kids Online countries and includes eight countries which have not appeared in previous reports.

EU Kids Online: Excessive Internet Use among European Children (2012)

Smahel, D, Helsper, E, Green, L, Kalmus, V, Blinka, L, Ólafsson, K,

This report uses the data from the EU Kids Online study to examine excessive use of the Internet by children in the 25 participating countries.

The Protection of Children Online (2012)

Kristina Irion

The report provides key findings and policy recommendations to keep children safe online as a follow up to the 2008 Seoul Ministerial Declaration on the Future of the Internet Economy.

EU Kids Online: National perspectives (2012)

Leslie Haddon, Sonia Livingstone and the EU Kids Online network

This report summarizes the Internet experiences of children in the 33 participating EU Kids Online countries and includes eight countries which have not appeared in previous reports

Risks and safety on the internet: The perspective of European children. Full Findings (2011)

Livingstone, S., Haddon, L., Görzig, A., Ólafsson, K

Building on the original study, EU Kids Online I, this second piece of research includes the findings from research which took place in 25 countries. Children in the 9 – 16 age group were surveyed on their experiences of online use, risk and safety

EU Kids Online: Final report (2009)

Livingstone, S., Haddon, L.

One of the foremost pieces of research into the online habits of children in the European Union is the EU Kids Online research, funded by the European Commission Safer Internet Plus Programme between 2006 and 2009.

Education on Online Safety in Schools in Europe (2009)

Eurydice

The study covers 30 European countries and provides information on whether online safety is taught and how it is taught in schools within the participating countries.

Towards a safer use of the Internet for children in the EU - a parents' perspective (2008)

Eurobarometer

The study covers 27 EU Member States and provides parental responses to a range of questions relating to Internet safety and their perception of risk.

U.S. /European Summit on Missing & Exploited Children (2005)

International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

Participants from different governments, law enforcement, and nongovernmental organizations participated in the U.S. /European Summit on Missing & Exploited Children. They discussed successes and shortcomings of current efforts to address the global problem of missing and exploited children, and adopted a comprehensive Action Plan.

This section contains details of the country’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

The Republic of Ireland has a common law legal system and there is no codified criminal law. Serious offenses are prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the name of the People of Ireland, and are normally tried before a jury. The age of consent is set a 17 years of age, with increased penalties for violation of children under the age of 15 years.

  • Section 2, Criminal Law (Rape) Act 1981. Meaning of “rape”. It is a criminal offense for a man to engage in unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. The maximum punishment for this offense is life imprisonment.
  • Section 2, Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990. Sexual Assault. This is defined as indecent assault on another person and carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.
  • Section 3, Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990. Aggravated Sexual Assault. It is an offense under this section for a person to commit a sexual assault where serious violence is used against the victim. This carries a sentence of life imprisonment.
  • Section 4, Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990. Rape. Where a person penetrates the mouth or anus of another person, against that person’s will, with their penis they commit a crime. This section also states that a crime is committed where the vagina is penetrated, without consent, by an object other than a penis. The maximum sentence under this section is life imprisonment. -Section 3, Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998. Child trafficking. Among other crimes, under this section any person who uses a child for the purposes of producing child pornography may be sentenced to a maximum of fourteen years’ imprisonment.
  • Section 4, Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998. Allowing child to be used for child pornography. Any person who allows a child under their care to be used in the production of child pornography may be sentenced to up to fourteen years’ imprisonment.
  • Section 5, Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998. Child pornography. This section states that it is a crime to produce, publish, import, or distribute child pornography. The punishment for this offense is a maximum sentence of fourteen years’ imprisonment.
  • Section 6, Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998. Possession of child pornography. Any person who is found guilty of possessing child pornography may be sentenced to up to five years’ imprisonment.
  • Section 2, Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006. Defilement of a child under 15 years of age. Any person who engages in a sexual act with a child under the age of fifteen is liable to be punished by life imprisonment.
  • Section 3, Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006. Defilement of child under the age of seventeen years. A person who engages in a sexual act with a child aged between fifteen and seventeen shall be sentenced to a maximum of five years’ imprisonment. Subsequent convictions under this section increase the maximum penalty to ten years’ imprisonment. The consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions is required for any prosecution of a child under the age of seventeen for this crime. A person who is convicted of this offense and is not more than two years older than the victim is not subject to the requirements of the Sex Offenders Act 2001. This means they will not have their name placed on the Sex Offenders Register.
  • Section 6, Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Act 2007. Meeting a child for purpose of sexual exploitation. Any person who meets or travels to meet a child, with whom they have communicated on at least two previous occasions, for the purposes of sexual exploitation of the child is liable to be punished by a sentence of up to fourteen years’ imprisonment.
  • Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2014. This Bill proposed reforms of the Irish Criminal law, including stronger sanctions aimed at protecting children from sexual exploitation and new criminal offences to protect children against online grooming, child pornography, etc.
  • Children First Bill 2014. Among other provisions, this Bill addresses the sexual abuse of children and puts in place safeguards and services for children.
  • Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015. This Bill contains new criminal offences to protect children against grooming and fresh measures to protect children from online predators, including potential prison sentences of up to 14 years. The bill maintains the age of consent at 17 years of age.

2011 - The Department of Children and Youth Affairs published a National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children, which recognized four types of child abuse: neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. The Guidance provided a definition of sexual exploitation, as well as information including signs for recognizing child sexual exploitation, best practices for reporting abuse, guidance for interagency cooperation, etc.

2013 - The Irish Police published a policy on the investigation of sexual crimes against children. It consists of three parts and provides definition of crime, procedures for reporting, and handling the crime, etc.

2014 - As a member of the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online, Ireland submitted its 2014 report on the steps the country has taken to protect children online, which details relevant laws passed, law enforcement efforts undertaken, etc. Additionally, according to the published policy targets and actions Ireland has taken specific actions to enhance its efforts to identify victims and provide assistance to them; to bolster its efforts to investigate and prosecute offenders of child sexual abuse online; increase public awareness of the potential risks around children’s online activities; and finally reduce the availability of child pornography online and reducing re-victimization of children who have been depicted in sexual abuse.

2015 - Irish Minister Frances Fitzgerald hosted a summit on tackling online child sexual exploitation in Ireland, noting the increased rates of child online victimization and steps being taken to address it. For example the Minister stated that the police force are improving investigation techniques and blocking initiative to address the spread of child pornography.