The ISPCC eagerly tuned into the Joint Oireachtas Committee tasked with the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill as it continued its hearings.
The organisation commends the persistent questioning by the members of those giving testimony and is concerned that some did not have specific timelines in place to deal with individual complaints and did not have any figures pertaining to the Irish marketplace on this either.
ISPCC Chief Executive John Church reacted: “The ISPCC is clear that an individual complaints mechanism must be provided for in this legislation, but the issue of scale is given as a reason for not providing for this. How do we know scale is an issue if there is no data forthcoming to back up this?
“While our Childline data tells us the number of children and young people talking to us specifically about cyberbullying may seem small, the impact and harm this has can be huge and far-reaching.”
The ISPCC believes this bill in its entirety needs to be progressed without delay; it must include an individual complaints mechanism and it must recognise children and young people as key stakeholders.
John Church concluded: “We will continue to speak out for children like Kate whose story we shared with the committee last week and which seems to have resonated with many. We cannot ignore the children and young people who contact us about the issues they are encountering online. I impress on our legislators the need to make this legislation work, for everyone.”