A new Digital Manifesto for online child safety, supported by ECPAT UK, has called on the UK Government to enshrine the right for children to claim compensation for sexual abuse online. 

Signatories have also called on all major parties to support new powers to hold internet companies and other corporate bodies to account for upholding online child safety.

Published by the Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety, the Digital Manifesto sets out an extensive set of policies and recommendations to improve online child protection in the areas of online safety education, policing, public accountability and support for professionals.

Recent years have seen an alarming increase in online child sexual exploitation globally and within the UK. A report produced by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre in June 2013 highlights online child exploitation as one of the four key threats to children. An emerging trend has seen online child abusers exploiting video streaming services to sexually abuse children in real time online.  

The Digital Manifesto complements ECPAT UK’s campaigns to protect children everywhere and prevent the online and contact abuse of children abroad by British nationals. 

Ryan Mahan, Head of Information & Online Campaigns, ECPAT UK, said: “Tech-savvy British offenders are increasingly taking to the internet to abuse children in the UK and abroad. We are calling on the Government to back up their strong words on online safety with robust polices and adequate resources to protect children and apprehend offenders. The Digital Manifesto provides a strong framework for this redoubled effort.”

The Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS) is made up of representatives from Action for Children, Barnardo’s, the British Association for Adoption and Fostering, Children England, The Children’s Society, ECPAT UK, Kidscape, National Children’s Bureau, The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Stop It Now UK and Ireland, and Young Minds.