Tuesday, 22 May 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
312. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the safeguards which exist to protect children who communicate with and through children's Internet sites from paedophiles worldwide who access such sites; if he has research, preventative measures or safeguarding proposals in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14985/01]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): The general issue of Internet safety for children is included in the brief of the Internet Advisory Board which I established last year. The board has already taken a number of initiatives in this area, including the commissioning of research on Internet safety issues in Ireland, an awareness campaign for parents which will be run later this year and the setting up of the board's Internet safety website this summer. The board has also been engaged with the Irish Internet service provider industry in the development of new codes of practice which are expected to be agreed within the next few weeks. All these initiatives have a role in improving safety aspects of children using the Internet.
Apart from the development of an appropriate range of domestic safety initiatives, my Department is also involved in ongoing international co-operation at EU level in major Internet safety programmes and in developing mutual assistance measures for tracking and identifying illegal use of the Internet. Notwithstanding continued efforts at national and international level, the particular problem of access by paedophiles to children using the Internet continues to pose challenges for law enforcement authorities worldwide.
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