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Rees-Mogg: We are taking online child abuse seriously

by Ace Damon
Rees-Mogg: We are taking online child abuse seriously

Jacob Rees-Mogg said the government is taking the rise of online child sexual exploitation (CSE) material seriously, but has refused to allow interested parliamentarians to debate in the House of Commons.

His statement came after the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) warned of an "epidemic" of child abuse images on the open web, according to reports from the charity received last year.

Labor MP Chris Elmore, who chairs the parliamentary group of all parties on social media, said he would work with the IWF on an investigation into the rise of online CSE material.

The institution received more than 260,000 complaints in 2019, an increase of 14% over the previous year. Of those reports, more than 132,000 were images or videos of sexually abused children.

According to the institution, the reports received "amount to millions of images and videos" and its chief executive Susie Hargreaves OBE said it was "really shocking … that everything is available on the open Internet, or on the network." clear & # 39; ".

Elmore asked Rees-Mogg, as leader of the House, to present a government statement or time for a debate "to ensure that the government was working with all organizations" to protect children.

He added that he wanted to see "social media providers … facing up front to deal with these heinous crimes that children are facing."

Rees-Mogg thanked the question and said: "The government has a very clear plan to ensure better application in this area with continued rigor and is aware of the responsibilities of media providers, whether online or offline.

"So it is something that the government will seek to take seriously," said Rees-Mogg, before adding, "I cannot promise an immediate debate, but there were questions from the DCMS previously and I would encourage you to continue to raise the issue."

Susie Hargreaves said: "We look forward to working with Chris Elmore on the investigation and providing our world leading experience in this matter.

"These crimes are truly heinous, and the victims are all real children. We all need to be sure that we are doing more until all images of child sexual abuse are eradicated from the Internet forever."

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