North East MEP backs moves to make the web a safer place for children

Stephen Hughes MEPNorth East MEP Stephen Hughes today backed moves to make surfing the internet a safer experience for children and young people.

Euro-MPs will vote today in Strasbourg on proposals to introduce a new Safer Internet programme. The new programme will build on the success of the current programme by extending its scope to ensure better protection for children from grooming and bullying. It will combat illegal content, promote a safer online environment, raise public awareness and establish a knowledge base for research purposes.

North East Labour’s Stephen Hughes MEP said;

"The internet has opened up all sorts of new opportunities for children and young people in the North East. However, it’s vital that we put in place improved protection to make sure that they are kept safe from the dangers online. I welcome the steps we're taking in the European Parliament to make sure that all the nations of Europe work together to make the internet safer for children."

Michael Cashman MEP, Labour's spokesperson on justice and home affairs, said:

"Children aged between twelve and fifteen spend at least three hours a day using the internet and we need to ensure they are protected from the dangers of illegal content and harmful conduct online."

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and the Internet Watch Programme (IWP) have both given their support to the proposals as their research shows that child abuse online is a growing problem and they are also concerned about the risks of the knowledge gap between children and parents.

The new programme will focus on practical help for internet users, including information exchange between Member States, providing information packs for parents, carers and teachers, and setting up a common "child-safe" label for web pages.