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Online Safety

Ask Peers to support Baroness Benjamin’s amendment on age verification and pornography

As part of the Digital Economy Act (DEA), the House of Lords and the House of Commons approved robust, age verification controls to be introduced to protect children from commercial, online pornography websites. The UK was set to become a world leader in taking this bold, innovative step. The technology was ready and an independent regulator had been selected.

But, after numerous delays, the UK Government suddenly abandoned the scheme on 16 October 2019. At the time, it was suggested that an equally robust proposal for age verification to protect children from commercial, online porn websites would be included in the new, Online Harms Bill.

In December 2020, the Government finally published its response to the White Paper consultation on the proposed Online Harms Bill. Since then, it has become more than apparent that the new legislation will fall far short of the age verification controls approved by Parliament as part of the DEA.

At CARE, we think age verification controls are the right approach to protect our young people from exposure to pornography websites online. The Government's new proposals fall short of the protection you could expect from age verification.

Thanks to the efforts of Baroness Benjamin in the House of Lords, there is now a fresh opportunity to make sure age verification is introduced.

Baroness Benjamin first proposed her amendment during Committee Stage in the House of Lords

Domest­ic Abuse Bill and Pornography

Baroness Benjamin has tabled an amendment, known as 87A, to the UK Government's landmark Domestic Abuse Bill. This legislation creates, for the first time ever, a statutory definition of domestic abuse. It also improves the help on offer to victims and gives the police new powers to tackle this all too common problem.

When the Bill passed through the Commons, the Government accepted the need to end the 'rough sex defence'. It introduced new clause 65 to this end. Following this, CARE supported Baroness Benjamin and others make the case that it's not enough to repeal the rough sex defence when you could also prevent incidences of rough sex in the first place.

The UK Government's own research has highlighted the link between pornography and domestic violence. So, Baroness Benjamin's amendment requires the Government to analyse whether age verification on commercial pornography will help break this link. If it does, then the Secretary of State must set a date for implementing age verification.

We need your help

There are many Members of the House of Lords who are supportive of Baroness Benjamin's amendment. To help increase the likelihood of it passing, we need your help persuading others of the merits of the amendment.

Please will you consider writing to at least 3 Peers, from the list below? In your own words, here are some points to make:

  • Stress your support of the Domestic Abuse Bill and say it's important to tackle not only the issue of domestic violence, but also the root causes as well.
  • Say you're glad the Government has introduced NC65 to repeal the rough sex defence but add that it's important to stop incidents of rough sex occurring in the first place.
  • To this end, ask them to support Baroness Benjamin's amendment if it's put to a vote
  • Point out that the new Online Harms Bill is yet to be introduced to Parliament and as such, it'll take years before it's implemented, whereas age verification is ready to go.
  • Say that you're aware the proposals to protect children from online pornography in the Online Harms Bill fall far short of the protection on offer through age verification.
  • Add that MPs and Peers have already approved age verification and therefore, it's important for the integrity of Parliament that the Government is forced to implement it.

Please select three Peers from the list below

Simply click on the email address of the Peer you select and then write your email, using the points above as a guide.

If you can, please pick at least 3 Peers to email, although, of course, we're very grateful even if you manage just one email!

Name of Peer

Salutation

Email address

The Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Alton

altond@parliament.uk

The Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville MBE

Lady Bakewell

bakewellc@parliament.uk

The Rt Hon. The Lord Bassam of Brighton

Lord Bassam

bassams@parliament.uk

The Baroness Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury

Lady Bonham-Carter

bonhamcarterj@parliament.uk

The Lord Browne of Belmont

Lord Browne

brownew@parliament.uk

The Rt Hon. The Baroness Butler-Sloss, GBE

Lady Butler-Sloss

butlerslosse@parliament.uk

The Lord Clement-Jones, CBE

Lord Clement-Jones

clementjonest@parliament.uk

The Lord Collins of Highbury

Lord Collins

collinsr@parliament.uk

The Lord Cormack

Lord Cormack

peta.brough@btinternet.com

The Lord Curry of Kirkharle, CBE

Lord Curry

curryd@parliament.uk

The Lord Davidson of Glen Clova

Lord Davidson

lord.davidson@axiomadvocates.com

The Rt Hon. The Lord Deben PC

Lord Deben

secretariat@sancroft.com

The Lord Dholakia, OBE, DL

Lord Dholakia

dholakian@parliament.uk

The Baroness Doocey

Lady Doocey

dooceyd@parliament.uk

The Baroness Eaton

Lady Eaton

eatonm@parliament.uk

The Rt Hon. The Lord Elton

Lord Elton

ELTONR@parliament.uk

The Lord Farmer

Lord Farmer

farmerm@parliament.uk

The Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

Lady Finlay

finlayi@parliament.uk

The Lord Fox

Lord Fox

foxc@parliament.uk

The Lord Framlingham

Lord Framlingham

lordm@parliament.uk

The Baroness Gardner of Parkes

Lady Gardner

gardnert@parliament.uk

The Lord Grantchester

Lord Grantchester

grantchesterj@parliament.uk

The Baroness Grey-Thompson

Lady Grey-Thompson

greythompsont@parliament.uk

The Baroness Hamwee

Lady Hamwee

hamwees@parliament.uk

The Lord Harris of Haringey

Lord Harris

harrist@parliament.uk

The Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick, CBE

Lord Hastings

hastingsm@parliament.uk

The Lord Hay of Ballyore

Lord Hay

williehay50@gmail.com

The Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

Lady Hayter

hayterd@parliament.uk

The Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill

Lady Healy

healyab@parliament.uk

The Baroness Hussein-Ece

Lady Hussein-Ece

ecem@parliament.uk

The Lord Hylton

Lord Hylton

hyltonr@parliament.uk

The Baroness Jolly

Lady Jolly

jollyj@parliament.uk

The Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Lady Jones

jonesmag@parliament.uk

The Rt Hon. the Lord Judge

Lord Judge

LONGK@parliament.uk

The Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Lord Kennedy

kennedyro@parliament.uk

The Baroness Kidron, OBE

Lady Kidron

kidronb@parliament.uk

The Baroness Kramer

Lady Kramer

kramers@parliament.uk

The Most Hon. The Marquess of Lothian QC PC DL

Lord Lothian

lothianm@parliament.uk

The Baroness Ludford

Lady Ludford

ludfords@parliament.uk

The Rt Hon. The Lord Mackay of Clashfern, KT

Lord Mackay

mackayjp@parliament.uk




The Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames

Lord Marks

marksj@parliament.uk

The Countess of Swinton, Baroness Masham of Ilton, DL

Lady Masham

mashams@parliament.uk

The Baroness Massey of Darwen

Lady Massey

masseyd@parliament.uk

The Rt Hon. The Lord McAvoy

Lord McAvoy

mcavoyto@parliament.uk

Professor the Lord McColl of Dulwich

Lord McColl

mccolli@parliament.uk

The Lord Morrow

Lord Morrow

morrowm@parliament.uk

The Lord Newby

Lord Newby

newbyr@parliament.uk

The Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne

Lady Nicholson

nicholsone@parliament.uk

The Baroness Northover

Lady Northover

northoverl@parliament.uk

The Baroness O'Cathain, OBE

Lady O'Cathain

ocathaind@parliament.uk

The Baroness O'Loan

Lady O'Loan

oloann@parliament.uk

General The Lord Ramsbotham

Lord Ramsbotham

ramsbothamd@parliament.uk

The Baroness Randerson

Lady Randerson

randersonj@parliament.uk

The Lord Rosser

Lord Rosser

rosserr@parliament.uk

The Baroness Sherlock

Lady Sherlock

sherlockm@parliament.uk

The Baroness Smith of Basildon

Lady Smith

smithangela@parliament.uk

The Baroness Smith of Newnham

Lady Smith

jes42@parliament.uk

The Lord Stevenson of Balmacara

Lord Stevenson

stevensonw@parliament.uk

The Lord Storey

Lord Storey

storeym@parliament.uk

The Baroness Stroud

Lady Stroud

stroudp@parliament.uk

The Lord Swinfen

Lord Swinfen

swinfenr@parliament.uk

The Lord Taylor of Warwick

Lord Taylor

taylorjdb@parliament.uk

The Lord Thomas of Gresford

Lord Thomas

thomasm@parliament.uk

The Baroness Thornton

Lady Thornton

thorntong@parliament.uk

The Rt Hon. The Lord Touhig PC

Lord Touhig

touhigjd@parliament.uk

The Lord Tunnicliffe

Lord Tunnicliffe

tunnicliffed@parliament.uk

The Baroness Uddin

Lady Uddin

uddinm@parliament.uk

The Baroness Walmsley

Lady Walmsley

walmsleyj@parliament.uk

The Lord Watson of Invergowrie

Lord Watson

watsonm@parliament.uk

The Baroness Wheeler

Lady Wheeler

wheelerm@parliament.uk

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