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Online Safety

Watching porn on buses should be banned, say MPs

9 May 2019

Watching porn on buses could soon be banned under plans being considered by the Government. Bus conductors and the police could also be given new powers to tackle those who watch explicit material on public transport.

Sexual harassment of women and girls in public places report

The recommendation was part of the final report into sexual harassment of women and girls in public places by the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC), which was published last October.

CARE was one of a number of organisations who submitted a formal submission to the consultation in which we outlined some of our concerns about how watching porn impacts people’s behaviours.

The report detailed some shocking statistics showing that forms of sexual harassment are happening with alarming regularity.

It also warned that due to the widespread watching of porn on smartphones, children could be accidently exposed to explicit material.

In its response, the Government said bus regulations would be updated to ensure watching pornography was covered, so staff can act against passengers found watching porn.

Age-verification on porn sites set for July launch

It follows the recent announcement that the Government is finally going to introduce age-verification on porn sites from 15 July.

The policy had first been introduced as part of the Digital Economy Act, but there were numerous delays along the way, with the launch date being pushed back repeatedly.

But from July, the UK is to set to become the first country to introduce an age-verification scheme anywhere in the world. Users will be required to prove their age before accessing adult content.

CARE’s response

CARE worked with MPs and Peers to ensure the age-verification procedures are as robust and effective as possible. While we welcome the introduction of this scheme and the government’s willingness to act to protect children and young people, there are still loopholes that need closing. Chiefly, under the definitions of pornography in the Bill, non-photographic child sex abuse images will not be banned outright. Baroness Howe’s Bill would address this glaring issue and we are continuing to work with Baroness Howe and others to close this grotesque loophole.

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Online Safety

For children and young people, access to harmful online content is only a click away. CARE is working towards a society where they are as well-protected online as they are offline.

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