26 September 2023

Global focus on PS child protection work

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The work of Public Service members in the eSafety Commissioner’s Office has attracted international attention with Members of the European Parliament visiting the Office to learn more about its world-leading approach to online safety regulation and online child protection.

eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant said the European delegation was engaging in high-level talks this week (starting 21 February) with herself, representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Home Affairs, National Office of Child Safety, Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation and the Australian Federal Police, as well as the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher.

“Australia has been leading the world in online safety regulation for the past six years and we now have a successful and replicable model that the rest of the world is closely looking at,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“This visit by representatives of the European Parliament shows how important this work has been,” she said.

“We have successfully created an extremely hostile environment for the hosting of illegal content like child sexual exploitation material, to the point that none of these sites are able to operate here.”

Ms Inman Grant said the visit came at a critical time, with the European Commission set to release new legislation to combat child sexual abuse and exploitation.

She said the talks would also help inform the development of the European Commission’s proposed Digital Services Act, a key piece of legislation expected to shape the future of online regulation across the European Union (EU) and around the world.

“It’s encouraging that the EU is looking at our experience, because if Europe were to follow a similar path to Australia, it would help to close the net around those seeking to trade and profit from this terrible content,” Ms Inman Grant said.

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