ISPCC concerned as young children report unsupervised access to internet

ISPCC concerned as young children report unsupervised access to internet

Children as young as five are being allowed unlimited and unsupervised access to the internet, according to the ISPCC.

The charity has said that it is seeing disturbing trends in children and young people's online activities.

ISPCC support workers highlighted that young people show a lack of empathy when comments are posted online compared to if they were face to face with someone. In some cases, children think that the purpose of social media is to taunt and insult others and that this is the normal behaviour online as this is what they may be viewing on a regular basis.

ISPCC case workers have also noticed an increase in young people engaging with strangers online, and sometimes sending photographs.

CEO Grainia Long said that a survey of young people has found their online activity is largely unmonitored.

"Evidence from our services shows the scale and nature of online activity by children and young people, and how much work is needed to keep them safe online," she said.

"Partnerships between industry, the education sector and government will be key. But we must also modernize our laws to reflect the online reality.

"There is an urgent need for law reform in this area to address the gaps in cybercrime legislation, to improve practice and to afford children greater protection online.

"Cyber safety is the child protection issue of our time; we are only beginning to understand the scale and nature of harm and criminal behaviour towards children online.

"However, we also appreciate the positive impact that technology has on the lives of young people but our work has informed us that our education system and society are failing to prepare children to identify and understand online risks.

ISPCC concerned as young children report unsupervised access to internet

"Children are at risk online – from bullying, accessing inappropriate material and in the most egregious cases, from abuse. Law reform and a range of education measures are undoubtedly required.

"This conference will provide the stepping stone to ensuring the children of Ireland have our support and enjoy protection online.

"We would like to thank Vodafone for their support on the issue and for the positive way they are contributing to protecting children online."


More in this Section

Justice Minister: 'Direct Provision is a guarantee of safety... there is no restriction on freedom'Justice Minister: 'Direct Provision is a guarantee of safety... there is no restriction on freedom'

Doors to reopen at school after legal fight over structural defectsDoors to reopen at school after legal fight over structural defects

Court hears murder accused asked to see garda in prison and then admitted stabbing musician  Court hears murder accused asked to see garda in prison and then admitted stabbing musician

Petition to save Ireland's largest nursing home for dementia patients handed to DáilPetition to save Ireland's largest nursing home for dementia patients handed to Dáil


Lifestyle

Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fastion. By Paul McLachen.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

HUSBAND and wife Justin and Jenny Green run Ballyvolane House, in Castlelyons, Co Cork. The mansion and former dairy farm, which was built in 1728, is where Justin grew up. Raised to Scottish parents in Hong Kong, Jenny met fellow hotelier Justin while working in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Having worked in the UK and Bali, they returned to manage Ballyvolane House, as an Irish country house, in 2004.Parents for the Planet: Green family has greener outlook at country house

More From The Irish Examiner