International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Australia Ltd

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Navigating Online Safety: Anna’s Insights from Recent Press Coverage in Australia

May 10, 2024

Recent press coverage and events in Australia have sparked widespread discussions about online safety, highlighting the way technology has increasingly integrated into our daily lives, particularly for children. Concerns about online harms have surged to the forefront of public consciousness, prompting a call for urgent action.

ICMEC Australia welcomes the recent decision by the Federal Government to enforce stronger measures preventing Australian children from accessing explicit online content. This initiative represents a key step in shielding children from harmful exposure to pornography and artificial intelligence-generated sexual content online.

It is evident that there is a lot more work to be done in this space and a pressing need for comprehensive online safety measures to protect individuals, especially children from online threats. With sextortion increasing along with the prevalence of AI-generated child sexual abuse material (CSAM), there is an urgency for us to act. We strongly support the unrelenting efforts of the eSafety Commissioner in online child protection and in setting a global standard for responding to this crime.

We must take a collaborative approach, with all stakeholders playing a role in fostering a safer online environment. By fostering partnerships between government, industry, educators, parents, and young people themselves, Australia can cultivate a culture of responsibility and accountability in the digital space.

The Online Safety Act typically undergoes a review every three years. However, in response to the rapid changes in the online landscape since 2021, the process has been brought forward. The Australian Government is now asking for input and insights into the review process. ICMEC Australia is committed to prioritising child protection, and we encourage you to join us in ensuring it remains a top priority. You can contribute by submitting your input to The Act here.

Together, we can work towards creating a safer and more secure online world for children.

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