The Welsh Government is committed to enhancing the safety and digital resilience of all our children and young people by helping them recognise risks online and seek help when they need it. This principle is central to our Digital resilience in education action plan. To achieve the aims of the action plan, the Welsh Government collaborates with experts and partner organisations to offer an extensive range of bilingual tools and resources in the Keeping safe online area of Hwb.
Through Hwb, the Welsh Government has become the first government body to join the global membership community of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). Hwb’s membership will support the vital work of the IWF. The membership will also help keep the Hwb platform safe and secure for all our users.
The IWF is a charity working to eliminate child sexual abuse images and videos online and is one of three partners that make up the UK Safer Internet Centre. As part of its work, the IWF provides a helpline where anyone can securely and anonymously report child sexual abuse imagery. Through collaborations with industry, law enforcement agencies, governments, charities and other helplines the IWF can then find, assess and remove online images and videos of child sexual abuse, helping victims worldwide.
Research and awareness raising is also part of the IWF’s remit. Their recent reports show a 77% increase in children being groomed, deceived or extorted into sharing a sexual image or video of themselves. In response to this evidence, the Welsh Government has published information and resources to empower children and young people and parents and carers in Wales to spot the signs of online grooming and exploitation, which includes bilingual materials to support the IWF’s Gurls out Loud and Home Truths campaigns.
In recognising and supporting the Welsh Government’s membership, Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the IWF, has written a specially commissioned View from the experts article.
Preventing online child sexual abuse - our work with the IWF
Read this article to find out more from Susie about the role of the IWF in making the internet a safer place for children across the world and the research behind their awareness raising campaigns.