Published on
12 January 2021

Barnardo's is calling for the Government to expedite its Online Safety Bill to tackle child sex abuse images online after the publication of a report by the Internet Watch Foundation.

The IWF says it has seen a dramatic 77% increase in the amount of “self-generated” abuse material as more children, and more criminals, spend longer online in 2020.

In response, Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: ​​“These shocking figures show the growing demand for these deeply disturbing and illegal images.

We must remember that behind every image is a child victim in need of support to recover from this horrific form of abuse.

“It is particularly alarming that almost half of child abuse content has been self-generated by children who have been coerced by perpetrators over the internet. This underlines the need for urgent regulation of the internet and the need to progress with the Online Safety Bill without delay. The measures proposed so far, including fines for social media companies that don’t protect children from harmful content, are a step in the right direction towards keeping children safe online.

 “However, legislation will all take time to implement and children need protection now. Working with charities like Barnardo’s and local agencies, the Government needs to ensure all  victims can access vital support and that professionals have sufficient training and resources to bring the perpetrators to justice.”