Today (May 11th 2021) the Queen spoke in the house of Lords at the state opening of Parliament to discuss the key priorities going forward for the Government. One of topics highlighted was the need for online safety to remain a high priority for the UK over the coming months and staying committed to upholding internet safety.
My Government will lead the way in ensuring internet safety for all, especially for children, whilst harnessing the benefits of a free, open, and secure internet.
In response to this, SWGfL as part of the UK Safer Internet Centre are hoping the Government honour their commitment and continue to help us work to keep children and young people safe online.
David Wright (Director of UK Safer Internet Centre) says:
We now need to see firm action taken from this promised legislation. The Government need to honour their commitment to online safety and stand by their promise to replace EU funding for the UK Safer Internet Centre (UK SIC) which is due to come to an end this year.
We look forward to the Government bringing forward the Online Safety Bill and continuing to work with them, and with Ofcom, to ensure that work is done to make the internet a great and safe place for children and young people.
Losing the UK SIC’s vital contribution to online safety will be disastrous for efforts to make the UK a safer place to be online. Without this and the essential funding, it will ultimately be the children who will suffer.
The UK Safer Internet Centre currently receives £1.3 million of funding from the EU. This amounts to 50% of the Centre’s funding.
The UK SIC has warned that, without this funding, children could be left vulnerable to online abuse, sexual exploitation, and bullying - all things the UK SIC works hard to prevent and remove from the internet.
The UK SIC is a unique partnership of three world-leading charities (SWGfL, Childnet, and the Internet Watch Foundation) working together to deliver critical advice, resources, and interventions to help keep everyone, especially children and young people, safe online.