United Kingdom

Population

64,088,222

Population 0‑14

17.4%

Internet Users

91.6%

Facebook Users

30,000,000

Mobile Subscribers

74,900,000
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

The United Kingdom is considered a top global leader in online safety in their multi-stakeholder approach to creating policy, and progressive measures that include the appointment of a Minister for Internet Safety & Security and the inclusion of computing and digital skills in the national academic curriculum.

UK Council for Child Internet Safety

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) was established in September 2008 and was the first organization of its kind, created by and reporting to the Prime Minister. It brings together organizations from industry, charities and the public sector to work with the UK Government to deliver the recommendations from Professor Tanya Byron’s Report, Safer Children in a Digital World, in developing and overseeing the implementation of a child Internet safety strategy.

Following a review in 2015, the UKCCIS Executive Board created five core working groups: filtering, social media, education, evidence and age verification. The groups work to share best practice and produce constructive guidance in their respective areas. Research updates are regularly published and In December 2015, the social media working group released a Practical Guide for Providers of Social Media and Interactive Services.

Key Reports

In November of 2010, Members of Parliament discussed the issue of Internet pornography and its easy accessibility by children. The transcript of the discussions revealed Members’ concerns about the ease with which children can access pornography on computers and mobile devices and their calls for an age-verification system to be implemented in conjunction with ISPs.

In June 2011, an independent review, conducted by Reg Bailey (Chief Executive, Mothers’ Union) was published. The Bailey Review of the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood called on businesses and media to reduce the ‘sexualized wallpaper’ which surrounds children in the United Kingdom today. The report, commissioned by the UK government, would require engagement with industry as opposed to regulation, at least initially. Possibly the most significant part of the report for those in the online safety space is the recommendation that customers be made to decide at the point of purchase whether they wish to receive adult content on computers, smartphones and home Internet services.

In October of 2011, the government announced that the UK’s top four Internet Service Providers had made a commitment that all customers would now have to make an active choice at the point of purchase as to whether they wish to block adult content on their home Internet connections and on laptops.

An Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection was launched in August 2011. A cross-party group of more than sixty Members of the Houses of Parliament took evidence from parents, experts and the Chief Executives of many of Britain’s largest ISPs. In April 2012, the Inquiry published its findings and recommendations. The Inquiry strongly recommended an Opt-In filter for adult material on the Internet: a default adult content bar which can only be lifted by proving that the end user is over eighteen.

In June 2012, the UK government launched a consultation process on parental controls. The ten week consultation period offered respondents an opportunity to voice their concerns and priorities around the provision of effective parental controls on Internet services. In December of 2012, the results of the consultation were published by the Department for Education.

Safety Summits and WePROTECT

In November 2013, the Prime Minister hosted an Internet safety summit attended by leading ISPs, key stakeholders and representatives from industry. A range of measures were agreed at the meeting, including commitments from Microsoft and Google to work together on preventing child abuse material from being returned in searches, the rapid take-down of illegal images.

In December 2014, Prime Minister David Cameron convened the first WePROTECT summit, which drew delegations from more than 50 countries, 26 leading technology companies and 10 NGOs which introduced an array of new measures and commitments to combating child sexual abuse material. The UK government pledged £50 million pounds over five years in support of eradicating child abuse images, which was given to UNICEF for distribution through it’s Global Fund to Prevent Violence Against Children. The second summit in November 2015 measured progress on these actions and created a new 2015 Statement of Action.

Revenge Porn Hotline

In February 2015, a specialist helpline was implemented by the UK government to support victims of revenge porn. The helpline is operated by Southwest Grid for Learning in conjunction with law enforcement and media companies, and offers legal advice and referrals for support services. The helpline took over 1800 calls in the first six months of operation and coincided with the criminalisation of revenge porn in the UK. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hundreds-of-victims-of-revenge-porn-seek-support-from-helpline

Age Verification

In support of commitments made by Conservative leadership, the Government established the UKCCIS Age Verification working group to evaluate solutions for underage access to porn in the UK. Five recommended solutions were created following an expert symposium on the topic, and a government consultation period began in February 2016.

One of the objectives of the UK government’s 2013 National Cyber Security Strategy was to build cyber security knowledge, skills and capability by “increasing and strengthening cyber content at all levels of education”. Complying with this objective, the Government funded the development of ten modules of Cyber Security teaching and learning materials at GCSE and A-level.

The Byron Review made several recommendations to various organizations regarding Internet safety provision in schools. It made clear the need for schools to take the issue of e-safety seriously, recommending that all schools needed to take action at a whole-school level to ensure that e-safety is mainstreamed throughout the school’s teaching, learning and other practices. Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, which regulates and inspects schools) received a number of directives, one of which was to carry out a thematic study on the teaching of e-safety and media literacy across what schools offer. As a result of this, Ofsted reported on thirty-five, one-day inspections of a range of schools across the UK and made several recommendations to all schools which included telling schools to move away from locked down systems (with regards to filtering and access) to a more managed system, which allowed pupils to be exposed to some risk in a managed way.

A overhauled statutory National Curriculum for England was taught in all primary and secondary schools from September 2014 to include skills in coding and computing. The new framework includes programs of study to equip children with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need in the 21st century. The Computing programs of study aim to ensure that pupils “are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.” Pupils are also taught to use technology safely and respectfully, how to keep personal information private, how to recognize unacceptable behavior, and where to go for help and support if they come across inappropriate online content.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is dedicated to eradicating the sexual abuse of children and bringing offenders to account either directly or in partnership with local and international forces. Their Thinkuknow site offers online safety online safety advice for kids of all ages as well as parents, carers and teachers.

ChildLine

ChildLine is a private and confidential live counselling service offered by phone, email or online chat for children up to 19 years of age.

Childnet International

Childnet International is a nonprofit organization which works with partners to make the Internet a safer place for children. From establishing INHOPE (the Association of Internet Hotline Providers in Europe) to creating the world’s first interactive safety resource for parents, Childnet has continues to lead on providing Internet safety education and advice to families.

Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS)

The Coalition is a group of children’s charities which includes Action for Children, Barnardo’s, Children’s Society, ECPAT UK, NCB, NCVCCO, NSPCC and Stop It Now! And its aim is to promote safe and equal access to the Internet and other digital technologies for all children.

Department of Education (DfE)

The Department for Education is responsible for education and children’s services, with commitments to the integration of technology and education in the UK.

Ditch the Label

One of the UK’s largest, most ambitious and pioneering anti-bullying charities, it provides support services to those who are impacted by bullying in offline and digital environment through schools, colleges, and in collaboration with online communities and social networks.

Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)

FOSI is an international, nonprofit organization which works to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes leaders in industry, government and the nonprofit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions and policies in the field of online safety.

Friendly Wifi

Supported by getmedigital.com, an organisation assures that safe WiFi services are provided in public places. It checks and verifies that the pornography and child abuse websites can’t be accessed through the public WiFi.

GetNetWise

GetNetWise is a public-service coalition comprising industry partners and public interest organizations, providing easy access to information on Internet safety, as well as IT security and privacy.

Go ON UK

Go ON UK helps citizens and businesses gain the basic online skills required to explore the Internet’s opportunities and become part of digital society.

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.

Innocence En Danger

This international NGO brings together activists, Internet specialists, policy makers and the media to raise awareness of the sexual exploitation of children online, and support child victims and their families.

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.

Internet Matters

Internet Matters is a joint effort of the UK’s four leading Internet Service providers (BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media), designed for all parents to access simple, easy and practical advice so that the can make informed choices when it comes to children’s online safety.

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)

Established in 1996 as the UK Internet hotline for the public and IT professionals to report potentially illegal online content, and to be the ‘notice and take-down’ body for this content. The IWF works in partnership with the online industry, law enforcement, government, the education sector, charities, international partners and the public to minimize the availability of this content, specifically, child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world and criminally obscene and incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK. The IWF is an independent self-regulatory body, funded by the EU and the wider online industry.

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.

Know the Net

Nominet’s Know The Net website provides information on a range of topics to Internet users. Whilst not aimed specifically at children or parents, the site does contain information on topics such as protecting oneself from cyberbullying and scams which may affect consumers.

Marie Collins Foundation

The Foundation works to help children recover from abuse committed online or through the use of new technologies, as well as with families, government departments and industry to ensure that best practice is followed.

Mumsnet

Mumsnet is an online community dedicated to information-sharing among parents. Since 2010, Mumsnet has operated the ‘Let Girls Be Girls’ campaign, which aims to curb the premature sexualization of children, including a stance on parental controls for Internet content.

National Society for the Protection of Children from Cruelty (NSPCC)

The NSPCC protects children from cruelty, supports vulnerable families, campaigns for changes to the law and raises awareness about abuse. The charity runs a UK Helpline and ChildLine in the UK and the Channel Islands.

Nominet

Nominet is the organization responsible for maintaining the register of .uk domain names within the United Kingdom. Advocates of online safety, Nominet also holds annual Internet Awards which promote best practice within the UK industry. Their Know the Netwebsite provides information on a range of topics to Internet users.

Ofcom

Ofcom is the United Kingdom’s communications regulator and operates under the Communications Act 2003. It is funded by a combination of fees from industry for regulating broadcasting and communications networks, as well as Government grants, and is accountable to Parliament.

ParentPort

ParentPort is run by the UK’s media regulators and aims to both set and enforce standards across the media to protect children from material which is considered inappropriate. It contains a reporting function to flag inappropriate content, and allows parents to share their views on content related to a variety of media such as television and video games.

Positive Schools

This mental health and wellbeing initiative is a partnership between Australia and the United Kingdom. It aims to provide solutions to improve the mental health, wellbeing and education of young people.

Safer Internet Centre Professionals Online Safety Helpline

Funded by the European Commission, the Helpline provides a point of contact and advice for online safety professionals in the UK who need advice on topics such as cyber-bullying, online reputation protection and protecting the children in their care.

Safermedia

Safermedia is a charity working to protect children and the vulnerable from media harm. They aim to raise awareness and increase understanding of the impact of harmful online content among service providers, policymakers and the general public.

South West Grid for Learning Trust (SWGfL)

SWGfL is a charitable trust dedicated to the advancement of education through ICTs.

The Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Campaign

The Anti-Bullying Ambassador program, a product of The Diana Award, creates projects combating bullying issues that include online focus, such as cyberbullying and and body image.

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation

A non-profit organisation that responds to and strives to prevent children and young people from sexual abuse and exploitation.

The Parent Zone

The Parent Zone works to create programs and provide guidance for families, parents and professionals across a broad range of topics and issues in the digital age.

UK Council of Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS

The UK Council of Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) is a group convened by the UK government of diverse organisations drawn from across government, industry, law, academia and the charity sector that work in partnership to help keep children safe online.

UK Safer Internet Centre

The Safer Internet Centre is the result of a partnership between Childnet International, the Internet Watch Foundation and the South West Grid for Learning and is co-funded by the European Union. The site’s Advice & Resources section provides information to parents, children and educators, with information for schools split by age group. It also provides links to other sources of help and information for anyone experiencing problems as a result of Internet use.

Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT)

This international partnership was formed in 2003 by law enforcement agencies, NGOs and industry leaders. It aims to protect children from online sexual abuse, with the objectives of making the Internet safer, locating and helping at-risk children and holding perpetrators to account.

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.

The Realities of Cyber Parenting: What Pre-teens and Teens Are Up To Online (2015)

Family Online Safety Institute and Intel Security

This global study examined the online behaviors and social networking habits of pre-teens and teens aged between 8 and 16 years old, as well as looking at the concerns of parents.

Pace of Change Report (2015)

CHILDWISE

A study commissioned by CHILDWISE to explore the use and understand of technology between children aged 7-17 and parents.

Emerging Patterns and Trends Report #1: Youth-Produced Sexual Content (2015)

Internet Watch Foundation

The study was carried out by the IWF in partnership with Microsoft to expand on an earlier 2012 report regarding self-generated sexual content featuring young people online.

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.

Children’s Media Lives: Year 1 Findings (2015)

Ofcom

The project follows 18 children, aged 8-15 in the first year of the study, over three years and interviews them on camera each year about their media habits and attitudes. The study provides evidence about the motivations and the context of media use, and how media is part of daily life and domestic circumstances.

Children and parents: Media use and attitudes report 2015 (2015)

Ofcom

This report provides detailed evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, and young children aged 3-4. The report also includes findings relating to parents' views about their children's media use and how they monitor it.

Ofcom report of internet safety measures: strategies of parental protection for children online (2015)

Ofcom

This report looks at parents’ strategies for protecting their children on the Internet and managing the opportunities, risks and challenges of online life.

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.

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.

UK children’s experience of smartphones and tablets: perspectives from children, parents and teachers (2015)

L. Haddon, J. Vincent

A summary of the UK results of a larger scale European qualitative study of the perceptions and perspectives of parents, teachers and children regarding children’s use of smartphones and tablets.

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.

Young People Who Produce and Send Nude Images: Context, Motivation and Consequences (2015)

L. Jonsson, K. Cooper, E. Quayle, C.G. Svedin, K. Hervy

For this study, researchers interviewed young people who self-reported sending or posting nude images of themselves before the age of 18.

Young Children (0-8) and Digital Technology: A Qualitative Exploratory Study Across Seven Countries (2015)

S. Chaudron

This report presents a pilot qualitative study designed and implemented in collaboration with a selected group of academic partners in different European countries that aims at pioneering in Europe the exploration of children younger than 8 years old and their families` experiences with new technologies.

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.

Net Children Go Mobile Final Report (2014)

Giovanna Mascheroni, Andrea Cuman

Final report on implementation of Net Children Go Mobile project.

Children’s online behaviour: issues of risk and trust. Qualitative research findings (2014)

Ofcom

This study focused on a cross-section of children and young people aged 8 to 17 across the UK. The research aimed to address a number of core questions, including whether children understand the issues and risks around their personal data and their wider online activity.

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.

Children's Use of Online Technologies in Europe (2014)

K. Ólafsson, S. Livingstone, L. Haddon

This report reviews recent research on children’s use of internet and mobile technologies identified by the EU Kids Online network.

Microsoft Computing Safety Index (2014)

Microsoft

This annual survey of more than 10,000 adults in 20 countries around the world creates the data for the MCSI, which measures the actions that consumers take to help keep themselves and their families safe online.

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.

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.

The Meaning of Online Problematic Situations for Children: Results of Qualitative Cross-Cultural Investigation in Nine European Countries (2014)

D. Smahel, M.F. Wright

This research, based on interviews, focused on the following: what children perceive as being potentially negative or problematic while using the internet, what risks children are aware of when using the internet, what consequences online negative experiences might have, how children react to negative experiences, what children do to avoid or prevent these problematic experiences, and why children perceive certain situations as negative.

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.

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.

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.

Being online: an investigation of people’s habits and attitudes (2013)

Ofcom

Ofcom commissioned Ipsos MORI to carry out the research for this survey. The study investigated people’s Internet habits and usage, as well as attitudes, in order to enable it to carry out its responsibilities to represent the interests of consumers

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

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.

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.

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

2013 Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes report (2013)

Ofcom

This annual report details the usage habits and attitudes of children as young as three years old and their parents, among other themes.

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.

Victims’ voices: The impact of online grooming and sexual abuse (2013)

Whittle, H. C., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C., Beech, A

Aimed at gaining a better understanding of the impact online grooming and sexual abuse on victims, and to obtain feedback and recommendations for police and social services based on the victims’ experiences with these agencies.

Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI). (2013)

Microsoft

This annual survey of more than 10,000 adults in 20 countries around the world creates the data for the MCSI, which measures the actions that consumers take to help keep themselves and their families safe online.

Media Literacy in Europe: 12 Good Practices that will Inspire You (2013)

Evens Foundation

This document explores 12 cases across Europe of media literacy.

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.

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)

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

Worldwide Online Bullying Survey. (2012)

Microsoft

This survey explored children’s experience of online bullying in 25 countries across the globe.

ICT in Primary Education (2012)

Ivan Kalaš, Haif E. Bannayan, Leslie Conery, Ernesto Lava, Diana Laurillard, Cher Ping Lim, Sarietjie Musgrave, Alexei Semenov, Márta Turcsányi-Szabó

Status of implementation of ICT in primary schools in Slovakia, Jordan, United States, Chile, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, South Africa, Russia, and Hugnary.

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.

Worldwide Online Bullying Survey (2012)

Microsoft

This survey explored children’s experience of online bullying in 25 countries across the globe.

Global Digital Communication: Texting, Social Networking Popular Worldwide (2012)

J. Menasce Horowitz, K. Simmons, J. Poushter, C. Barker

The report is a part of the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project, which conducts opinion surveys on subjects ranging from people's assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day.

Virtual Violence II: Progress & Challenges in the Fight against Cyberbullying (2012)

Nominet Trust, National Association for Head Teachers

Commissioned by Nominet Trust from Beatbullying, this study builds on an original piece of research conducted in 2009. It reveals such statistics as one in thirteen secondary school-aged children have experienced sustained and intentional cyberbullying

A qualitative study of children, young people and 'sexting': a report prepared for the NSPCC (2012)

Ringrose, Jessica and Gill, Rosalind and Livingstone, Sonia and Harvey, Laura

The purpose of this small scale qualitative research was to respond to and enhance our understandings of the complex nature of sexting and the role of mobile technologies within peer teen networks.

Online Profile and Reputations Study (2012)

Microsoft and Edelman Berland

Commissioned to coincide with Privacy Day 2012, the study measured the respones of nearly 3,000 children and adults on their online activities.

This article aims to shed light on some of the critical legal questions faced by school administrators by reviewing several legislative actions and court cases involving problematic offline and online student speech or expressions. (2012)

Microsoft and Edelman Berland

Commissioned to coincide with Privacy Day 2012, the study measured the respones of nearly 3,000 children and adults on their online activities.

Report on risks faced by children online and policies to protect them (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)

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.

Adults’ media literacy report; Children’s media literacy report (2011)

Ofcom

These reports provide analysis of media literacy including internet use and attitudes across adults, children aged 5-15 and their parents. Research has been carried out since 2005 enabling trends over time to be shown for many questions.

Evaluation of Safe Choices/PSNI Co-Located Pilot Initiative (2011)

Beckett, H.

This report is based on evaluation of a pilot initiative involving a specialist in missing children and child sexual exploitation (CSE) practitioner , from the Barnardo’s NI Safe Choices Service, who was collocated with a police Missing and Vulnerable Persons Officer in a Public Protection Unit in a Belfast police station. The report was developed in response to benefits of multi-agency working in the field of missing and CSE and further highlighted the contribution of colocation.

Online Child Sexual Abuse Content: The Development of a Comprehensive, Transferable International Internet Notice and Takedown System (2011)

Internet Watch Foundation

Report analyzes the legislative frame in that regulates inlines child sexual abuse content.

Online Behavior Related to Child Sexual Abuse (2011)

M. Ainsaar, L. Lööf

This report provides a review of studies, with a specific focus on sexually abusive online experiences and offline sexual abuse that have started with an online contact or where the contacts between the perpetrator and the young person have relied heavily on information and communication technologies.

Safety and Security on the Internet Challenges and Advances in Member States (2011)

World Health Organization

Evaluation of public health threat presented by the Internet in every Member States.

Mobile Education in the United Kingdom (2011)

GSMA

This is one of a series of country specific reports from the GSMA which considers the demand for mobile education from the formal education sector perspective.

The impact of digital technologies on human wellbeing (2011)

Howard-Jones, P

Written for the Nominet Trust as part of their ‘State of the Art Review’ series, this report investigates how neuroscience can inform about the effects that emerging technologies can have on the brain of a child or adolescent.

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

Children and parents: media use and attitudes report (2011)

Ofcom

This report covers the media usage habits, attitudes and understanding of a range of children aged from five to fifteen. It also documents parental views about their children’s use, as well as they ways in which they manage such use.

Research Highlights for Children’s Online Safety. Offender Behaviour – Lessons for Online Safety (2010)

UKCCIS

This report gives details of offender behavior in relation to children

Research Highlights for Children’s Online Safety. Exploring online safety knowledge and evaluating CEOP’s Think U Know (TUK) education programme (2010)

UKCCIS

This report details children’s attitudes towards reporting inappropriate behavior or content as a result of whether they have received any online safety education.

2010 Norton Online Family Report (2010)

Norton by Symantec

The report reveals how children are spending more time online and have had more negative online experiences than parents realize. It highlights different approaches taken by families globally and uncovers the emotional impact of children’s negative online experiences.

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.

UK child protection legislation can be divided into two main categories: civil law and criminal law. And although no single piece of legislation covers child protection, the UK has consistently and proactively sought to legislate in this important area.

The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is sixteen for both males and females. The minimum age for marriage without parental consent is eighteen, as is the age of majority.

  • Criminal Justice Act (CJA) 2003, Section 227. Extended Sentence for Certain Violent or Sexual Offences: Persons 18 or Over. States that where a person is convicted of a defined sexual offense they are liable for an extended period of imprisonment, which is not to exceed eight years.
  • CJA 2003, Section 228. Extended Sentence for Certain Violent or Sexual Offences: Persons Under 18. States that a minor under eighteen may be sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment, not to exceed eight years, where the crime is one of a sexual nature.
  • Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, Section 63. Possession of Extreme Pornographic Images. This section defines the criminal offense of possessing extreme pornographic images. An image is considered to be ‘extreme’ if it depicts an act which threatens a person’s life, results in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals, shows interference with a corpse or depicts an act of sex with an animal. Section 67 sets the penalty for this offense at imprisonment for up to three years on conviction on indictment, or up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum on summary conviction.
  • Sexual Offences Act (SOA) 2003, Section 1. Rape. This section states that a person is guilty of an offense if they intentionally penetrate the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with their penis and without the consent of the other person. Rape renders the offender liable to life imprisonment.
  • SOA 2003, Section 2. Assault by Penetration. Defines the offense of sexually penetrating the vagina, anus of mouth of another person with an object without their consent. If found guilty the term of imprisonment must not exceed life.
  • SOA 2003, Section 3. Sexual Assault. States that it is unlawful to sexually touch another person without their consent. Sexual assault incurs a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment, or imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum upon summary conviction.
  • SOA 2003, Section 4. Causing a Person to Engage in Sexual Activity without Consent. States that a person commits an offense where they cause another person to engage in sexual activity with another person without consent, including penetration of the other person’s vagina, anus or mouth. Upon conviction on indictment they face a maximum term of ten years’ imprisonment; on summary conviction, the offender will be liable to a maximum term of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • SOA 2003, Section 5. Rape of a Child under 13. Imposes a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for anyone who intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of a child under the age of thirteen years.
  • SOA 2003, Section 6. Assault of a Child under 13 by Penetration. This section states that it is unlawful to penetrate the vagina, anus or mouth of a child under thirteen with an object. The maximum sentence for this is life imprisonment.
  • SOA 2003, Section 7. Sexual Assault of a Child under 13. Defines the offense as to sexually touch a child under thirteen. The maximum sentence upon conviction on indictment is a term of imprisonment not to exceed fourteen years. Upon summary conviction, the offender will be liable to a maximum term of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • SOA 2003, Section 8. Causing or Inciting a Child under 13 to Engage in Sexual Activity. States that it is a criminal offense to cause or encourage a child under thirteen to engage in sexual activity with another person. This includes penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person. If found guilty on conviction of indictment, the offender is liable to up to fourteen years’ imprisonment. Upon summary conviction, the offender will be liable to a maximum term of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • SOA 2003, Section 9. Sexual Activity with a Child. This section states that anyone aged eighteen or over who intentionally sexually touches a child under the age of thirteen, or a minor under sixteen who they do not believe is sixteen or over, is guilty of an offense. Upon conviction on indictment, the offender will be liable to up to fourteen years’ imprisonment. Upon summary conviction, the offender will be liable to a maximum term of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • SOA 2003, Section 10. Causing or Inciting a Child to Engage in Sexual Activity. This section states that any adult who intentionally causes or incites a child under the age of thirteen, or a minor under the age of sixteen where they do not reasonably believe the child to be sixteen or over, to engage in sexual activity, is guilty of an offense and liable to, upon conviction on indictment, up to fourteen years’ imprisonment. Upon summary conviction, the term will be up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • SOA 2003, Section 11. Engaging in Sexual Activity in the Presence of a Child. States that it is unlawful for an adult to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child under the age of thirteen for the purposes of sexual gratification. The same applies if the child is under the age of sixteen and the offender does not reasonably believe the child to be sixteen or over. Upon conviction on indictment, the maximum term of imprisonment is ten years; upon summary conviction, offender will be liable to a maximum term of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • SOA 2003, Section 12. Causing a Child to Watch a Sexual Act. States that it is a criminal offense to cause a child under the age of thirteen, or a minor under sixteen who they do not believe to be sixteen or over, to watch a person engage in sexual activity for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification. This is punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment, or up to a maximum term of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum on summary conviction.
  • SOA 2003, Section 13. Child Sex Offenses Committed by Children or Young Persons. States that where a minor under the age of eighteen commits any offense under sections 9 - 12, on conviction on indictment they may be sentenced to up to five years’ imprisonment, or up to a maximum term of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum on summary conviction.
  • SOA 2003, Section 14. Arranging or Facilitating Commission of a Child Sex Offence. This section states that it is an offense to arrange or facilitate the commission of an act that is against the law under sections 9 - 13. On conviction on indictment, the offender will be liable to up to fourteen years’ in prison; on summary conviction, the maximum penalty is six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • SOA 2003, Section 15. Meeting a Child Following Sexual Grooming etc. States that anyone who, if having communicated with a child under the age of sixteen on at least two previous occasions, arranges to meet them with the intention of committing a crime under sections 9 - 13, is guilty of an offense. This is punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment, or up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum on summary conviction.
  • SOA 2003, Section 16. Abuse of Position of Trust: Sexual Activity with a Child. Imposes a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment for anyone who abuses a position of authority to engage in sexual touching with a child under the age of thirteen or where the minor is under eighteen and the offender does not believe that they are eighteen or over. On summary conviction, the maximum penalty is six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • SOA 2003, Section 17. Abuse of Position of Trust: Causing or Inciting a Child to Engage in Sexual Activity. States that encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity when the offender is in a position of trust renders the offender liable to the same penalties as set out in section 16.
  • SOA 2003, Section 18. Abuse of Position of Trust: Sexual Activity in the Presence of a Child. States that where a person in a position of authority engages in sexual activity in the presence of a child they commit and offense, the same penalties as laid out in section 16 will apply.
  • SOA 2003, Section 19. Abuse of Position of Trust: Causing a Child to Watch a Sexual Act. Imposes a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment for anyone who abuses a position of authority to cause a child to watch a sexual act where the child is under thirteen or where the minor is under eighteen and the offender does not believe that they are eighteen or over. On summary conviction, the maximum penalty is six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • SOA 2003, Section 47. Paying for Sexual Services of a Child. States that anyone who obtains the sexual services of a child under the age of thirteen for a financial reward to the child or a third person is guilty of an offense. Where the act includes the penetration of the child’s vagina, anus or mouth with a body part or any object, the sentence will be life imprisonment. Where the minor is under the age of sixteen the penalty will be up to fourteen years’ imprisonment if the offense includes penetration, or in any other case up to fourteen years’ upon summary conviction, or up to six months in addition to a fine up to the statutory maximum upon conviction on indictment. If the child is under eighteen and the offender does not reasonably believe the child to be eighteen or over, he/she will be liable to imprisonment for up to seven years on conviction on indictment, or up to six months in addition to a fine up to the statutory maximum on summary conviction.
  • SOA 2003, Section 48. Causing or Inciting Child Prostitution or Pornography. States that it is against the law to incite a child under thirteen or under eighteen, whom the offender does not believe is over eighteen, to engage in pornography. Those guilty under this section face up to fourteen years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment, or up to six months in addition to a fine up to the statutory maximum on summary conviction.
  • SOA 2003, Section 49. Controlling a Child Prostitute or a Child Involved in Pornography. This section states that it is an offense to intentionally control the activities of a child under the age of thirteen, or under eighteen if the offender does not believe reasonably believe the child to be aged eighteen or over, relating to prostitution or pornography. This renders the offender liable to imprisonment for up to fourteen years on conviction on indictment, or up to six months, in addition to a fine up to the statutory maximum upon summary conviction.
  • SOA 2003, Section 50. Arranging or Facilitating Child Prostitution or Pornography. Imposes a penalty of imprisonment not to exceed fourteen years for anyone who arranges or facilitates the participation of a child in pornographic activity if the child is under the age of thirteen, or under eighteen and the offender does know the minor is under age. On summary conviction, the penalty is up to six months’ imprisonment and a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • SOA 2003, Section 66. Exposure. States that where a person exposes their genitals with the intent that someone else sees them, they are guilty of an offense and may be sentenced to up to two years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment, or up to six months’ imprisonment and a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum on summary conviction.
  • SOA 2003, Section 67. Voyeurism. States that a person commits an offense if they observe another without the other person’s consent for the purposes of sexual gratification. It is equally unlawful to operate equipment to enable another person to commit the offense above, or to record another person doing a private act without consent for the purpose of sexual gratification. This is punishable by imprisonment for up to two years on conviction on indictment, on summary conviction the penalty is up to six months’ imprisonment and a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.
  • Protection of Children Act 1978. Section 1. Indecent Photographs of Children. This section states that it is an offense for any person to take, make, distribute, show, publish or possess (with a view to distribute) any indecent images of a child. Section 5 (Forfeiture) states that any images seized under this Act may be ordered to be forfeited by the courts. Section 6 (Punishment) states that anyone convicted under this Act may be sentenced to a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment, or up to six months’ imprisonment and a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum by the Magistrates’ Courts Act.
  • Obscene Publications Act 1959, Section 2. Prohibition of Publication of Obscene Matter. This section states that anyone who, whether for gain or not, publishes an obscene article will be liable to imprisonment for up to five years on conviction on indictment, or up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum on summary conviction.
  • Malicious Communications Act 1988, Section 1. Offence of Sending Letters etc. with Intent to Cause Distress or Anxiety. States that it is an offense to send an indecent, offensive or threatening letter, electronic communication or other article to another person. The penalty under this section is up to two years’’ imprisonment and/or a fine.
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997, Section 1. Prohibition of Harassment. States that it is a crime to pursue a course of conduct which amounts to a harassment. The maximum sentence for this behavior is six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997, Section 4. Putting People in Fear of Violence. States that where the victim is placed in fear of violence as a result of the harassment the maximum sentence increases to five years’ imprisonment.
  • Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, Section 33. Disclosing Private Sexual Photographs and Films With Intent to Cause Distress. States that it is an offence to disclose a private sexual photograph or film without consent of the individual who appears and with the intent of causing that individual distress. The maximum sentence is up to two years imprisonment and/or a fine.

In 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a speech at a summit of Internet safety experts and children’s charities, asserting his intent to campaign for a safer Internet for children, with particular emphasis on fighting online child sexual exploitation.

As a primary step in this effort, the UK’s four leading ISPs contributed £1 million in funding to support the eradication of online abuse material and the expanded work of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). A notable development was the implementation of Splash Pages, interstitials that appear when a user is trying to access a site that has been classified as child abuse content, and outlines the possible criminal consequences of attempting to access the content. Decisions were also made for a wider use of Microsoft’s PhotoDNA, which had been aiding other companies in identification of victims in still images. The IWF provides guidance in best practices for companies regarding blocking and the implementation of splash pages.

Later in 2013, Google and Microsoft partnered to ensure child abuse imagery was not easily accessible on their site searches by introducing new algorithms to prevent up to 100,000 results appearing from certain search words and terms. This approach was debuted in the UK and rolled out to other countries in the following months.

The Child Abuse Image Database (CAID) was launched at the 2014 WePROTECT summit to help identify and safeguard victims, increase the speed and efficacy of investigations, and support international efforts to remove abuse imagery from the Internet through the use of hashes and metadata. Images are evaluated by the Internet Watch Foundation and shared with five major global technology companies to ensure their removal and prevent further sharing. All UK territorial police forces and the National Crime Agency are now connected to the database.