Federal MP, Bert van Manen is inviting local parents and schools to comment on a Coalition Discussion Paper about improved online safety for children.
“When I speak to parents, principals and school teachers I hear they feel ill-equipped to deal with the challenge of protecting children from online dangers,” said Mr van Manen.
“The internet is great, it’s revolutionised all our lives, yet it’s also a real challenge for many parents.”
“On a daily basis, today’s children spend considerable time on social networking sites, messaging apps and online games.
“Christmas is coming up – and iPods, mini-iPads, x-boxes, Wii’s, smart phones, tablets and laptops can all access the internet.”
– Establishing a Children’s e-Safety Commissioner to take a national leadership role in online safety for children.
– Implementing Rapid Removal protocols with large social media outlets ensuring the rapid removal of material that is targeted at and likely to cause harm to an Australian child, through a co-operative regulatory scheme.
– Assisting parents and carers to make informed decisions about devices such as smartphones and tablets, by establishing recognised branding indicating their suitability for younger children and teenagers.
– Providing greater support for schools through a stronger online safety component within the National Safe Schools Framework, and assisting with online safety resources for schools.
– Undertaking a national public education campaign to highlight online safety issues.
“The real concern of the parents I talk to is the fear their children will be cyber-bullied. The worst thing about cyber-bullying, is that a child can’t escape it even at home.”
Bert said he believed improving online safety for children was above politics and that it needed the combined efforts of parents, carers, schools, police, governments and technology providers.