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Barnardo's responds to dangers of live streaming platforms by online sex offenders

Release Date: 05 Dec 2017

Barnardo's has warned of the dangers of live streaming platforms following a week of enforcement action by the police across the UK involving the arrests of 192 people.

Barnardo's Chief Executive, Javed Khan said:

We welcome this enforcement action to protect children and young people. They and their parents and carers need to understand the risks of live-streaming which gives online sex offenders the potential to communicate and view children in their own bedrooms.

Barnardo’s has long been calling for social media companies to sign up to an online code of practice to protect children, including incorporating safety features when designing products and taking action as soon as abuse becomes flagged. These solutions must be found by experts in technology and child safety, alongside children, young people and families themselves.

Parents and schools need to talk to children and seek out information to stay up-to-date on what new apps they are using. Age appropriate compulsory relationships and sex education school lessons, which we successfully campaigned for, must address this issue throughout the school year.

We know from speaking extensively to young people in our specialist child sexual exploitation services, that social media causes or exacerbates peer pressure, sexual pressure, addictive behaviours, ease of access to sexual content and social isolation. It is vital we all work together to keep children safe online.

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