Online Safety Bill must to curb more than 3,500 online child abuses each month, charity warns
As many as 42,503 obscene publication (child abuse image) and sexual grooming crimes were logged in 2021, up from 3,706 a decade ago. Photo: iStock
A children’s charity in UK has warned that more than 3,500 online child abuses will happen every month if the passing of the online safety bill is delayed, according to reports.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has urged both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to help passing the bill once the new prime minister assumes office.
Though the bill was scheduled to go through the House of Commons last week, it got delayed until the autumn while a new leader is selected.
According to the NSPCC, there was a tenfold increase in online child sexual abuse offences recorded by police in England and Wales over the last decade.
As many as 42,503 obscene publication (child abuse image) and sexual grooming crimes were logged in 2021, up from 3,706 a decade ago.
The charity assured that passing the bill could save children and families from unimaginable trauma of preventable child abuse.
“The need for legislation to protect children is clear, commands overwhelming support from MPs and the public and builds on the UK’s global leadership position in tackling harm online. Robust regulation can be delivered while protecting freedom of speech and privacy,” said chief executive Sir Peter Wanless .
“There can be no more important mission for Government than to keep children safe from abuse and the next prime minister must keep the promise made to families in the election manifesto and deliver the Online Safety Bill as a national priority.”
Reports said that the bill would compel social media and other platforms to protect their users from harmful content, placing a duty of care on them, with large fines and access to their sites being blocked if they breach the new rules.
A government spokesperson said that it is leaving no stone unturned to prevent and pursue offenders and keep children safe online and in our communities across the UK and around the world.
“The online safety bill is a key measure in this regard, as it will ensure companies take proactive action to keep children safe from child sexual abuse and exploitation on their platforms,” the spokesperson added.