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Home Secretary meets with tech giants in the US to assess plans to tackle online child sexual exploitation

This week Home Secretary Sajid Javid is meeting with some of the world’s biggest technology companies in Silicon Valley to find out more about what they are doing and their plans to help eradicate online child sexual exploitation (CSE).

The National Crime Agency (NCA) estimates that around 80,000 people in the UK present some kind of sexual threat to children online. Since 2013 there has been a 700% increase in the number of referrals to the NCA for child sexual abuse images.

‘Keeping our children safe is my mission as Home Secretary and it is vital tech companies take their responsibility seriously,’ said Sajid Javid.

Today Sajid will be co-hosting a ‘Hackathon’ at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The tech hack will involve industry experts and engineers working together to come up with tools to help detect online child grooming.

Parent Zone founder and CEO Vicki Shotbolt will also be at the event in Washington and welcomes the Home Secretary’s focus on CSE.

‘Parents are often forgotten in the fight against online child sexual abuse, but the reality is that they are the front line of defence and can play a crucial role in keeping their children safe. However, they need to be part of the conversation and they need to be recognised as vital partners. Finding ways for us all to work together to tackle online child sexual abuse is the only way we can respond,’ she said.

The Home Secretary has also commissioned new research to look at how advertising is fuelling the sexual exploitation of children online, with advertisements for well-known brands appearing on sites hosting child abuse. Sajid will chair a new taskforce to bring together representatives from ad agencies, trade bodies and brands to discuss next steps to ensure criminals don’t have access to this funding stream.

7 November 2018