Offences against Children: Internet

Home Office written question – answered on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the prevalence of online live-streaming of the sexual exploitation of children that originates from (a) the UK and (b) other countries.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government set out in the Serious Organised Crime Strategy 2018 that companies must be at the forefront of efforts to deny offenders access to children and child sexual abuse material via their platforms and services, and that a priority area is to stop the live streaming of child sexual abuse.

The National Crime Agency’s National Strategic Assessment 2018 self-broadcast live-streaming as a growing concern, with 1 in 8 teens having broadcast on Instagram and 1 in 10 on Facebook. Children were then being coerced and extorted into streaming child abuse content. Such images can be harvested and redistributed leading to blackmail and extortion for further images. The NCA has assessed in the National Strategic Assessment 2019 that livestreaming is a key threat, with some UK offenders paying overseas facilitators to abuse children.

The 2019 WePROTECT Global Alliance global threat assessment global threat assessment on demonstrates the nature, scale and complexity of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. The assessment outlined that technology increasingly enables the live streaming of child sexual abuse material.

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