Minister for Justice speaks out about online child exploitation

Minister for Justice speaks out about online child exploitation

IRELAND'S Minister for Justice and Equality has spoken out in support of strengthening the global response to online child exploitation.

Frances Fitzgerald TD joined forces with the newly appointed Garda Commissioner, Noreen O’Sullivan, to attend the Global Summit to Tackle Online Child Sexual Exploitation, taking place this week in London.

Minister Fitzgerald announced a new forum which will be established under her Department, bringing together law enforcement, technology, information and communications technology and child protection agencies to ensure maximum cooperation against online child sex abuse.

“The viewing, possession or trading in child abuse material and the continued abuse of the internet to exploit children for sexual gratification and profit is a heinous crime,” she said. “All of us who are concerned with protecting our society, and particularly our children and young people from illegal and harmful use of the Internet must be ever vigilant and ready to take necessary action.”

The new forum will meet twice a year, with leading experts from a range of online bodies such as Facebook and Google, as well as members of An Garda Síochána and Túsla participating.

The Minister will also hold meetings with the British Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims, the Rt Hon Mike Penning MP, to discuss progress in each jurisdiction on tackling this crime.

More than 30 countries are involved in the summit, in an aim to push global cooperation in tackling the issue.

One of the services Minister Fitzgerald will tell the summit of is - a service set up as part of the INHOPE network in Ireland.

This website allows anonymous tips on any illegal content that people accidentally come across online and receives part-funding from the European Commission’s Safe Internet Plus Programme.

The Summit will be on-going until Sunday.