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Policy conference – protecting children online: content regulation, age verification and latest thinking on industry responsibility

By other at London

Westminster eForum policy conference

Protecting children online: content regulation, age verification and latest thinking on industry responsibility



Jonathan Bamford, Director of Strategic Policy, Domestic, Information Commissioner’s Office



Professor Lorna Woods, Professor, School of Law, University of Essex


Follow us @WeFEvents | This event is CPD certified


Morning, Tuesday, 10th December 2019

Central London


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Note: fees apply for most delegates, but concessionary and complimentary places are available (subject to terms and conditions – see below).

*If you think this conference would be of interest to colleagues please feel free to share this email with them*

It will be an opportunity to consider the key issues for children arising from the Online Harms White Paper, which set out the Government’s plans to improve consumer safety online.

Delegates will assess practicalities of implementation and the next steps for delivery.

As the ICO puts its age appropriate design code into effect, further sessions examine what has been learnt so far from the consultation phase and what are the key priorities going forward.

We are delighted that Jonathan Bamford, Director of Strategic Policy, Domestic, Information Commissioner’sOffice will be delivering a keynote address.

Industry responsibility, regulation and transparency

We expect discussion to reflect the focus in the White Paper on industry responsibility.

Delegates will consider the proposed legal duty of care for online companies towards its users – including questions of what responsibility and liability should fall on social media platforms and tech companies.

As the Government prepares to appoint a new independent regulator, the agenda will bring out latest thinking on the future of online regulation with respect to children – looking at next steps for establishing good practice and building public trust in technology companies and services.

Those attending will also discuss issues around proportionality in a new regulatory framework.

We expect this to include how the policy aim of greater transparency around the presence of harmful content on platforms can be achieved, with plans for publically-available yearly transparency reports from online companies detailing the presence of harmful content and what they are doing to address the issue, so as to support children and families in making informed decisions about the platforms they visit.

Delegates will discuss priorities for providing greater support more widely for children and families to make informed choices – including the effectiveness of current public and private sector initiatives aimed at encouraging children to think more critically online – with the White Paper announcing plans to develop a new online media literacy strategy.

Content regulation, mental health impacts and online literacy

Delegates will consider what more is needed to identify and remove detrimental content.

It follows the Science and Technology Committee’s report on the mental health impacts of social media – which found that social media exacerbated online harms including negative body image and cyberbullying.


This conference will be an opportunity to consider innovative ways technology can be applied to increase consumer safety, such as the development last year of a new tool to stop online grooming which came about through collaboration between Government and industry, and which is expected to be licensed free of charge to smaller companies.


Privacy, age-verification and freedom of expression

One year on from the Data Protection Act, this conference will be an opportunity to consider progress that has been made towards protecting children’s privacy online and what further support is needed.


It comes as the ICO’s Age Appropriate Design Code comes into effect – developed to ensure online products and services that could be accessed by children incorporate data protection safeguards into their design.


Discussion will reflect the practicalities of age-verification technology – including protections on the collection and use of data, and the effects on the business models of online companies and services, as well as concerns about a disproportionate impact on start-ups affecting their ability to compete in the digital markets.


We also expect discussion on issues of how to define what is harmful, especially when the content is not illegal, as well as enforceability issues and whose responsibility this should be – and concerns about age verification technology restriction of access to information potentially stifling freedom of expression.

The draft agenda is copied below my signature, and a regularly updated version is available to download here. The seminar is organised on the basis of strict impartiality by the Westminster eForum. Follow us @WeFEventsfor live updates.


We are delighted to be able to include in this seminar a keynote address from: Jonathan Bamford, Director of Strategic Policy, Domestic, Information Commissioner’s Office.


At this early stage, further speakers include: Professor Lorna Woods, Professor, School of Law, University of Essex.

Additional senior participants are being approached, but if you or a colleague would like to be considered as a speaker at this seminar, please contact us at speakeroffers@forumsupport.co.uk specifying the event and session where you would like to speak and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are offering to speak yourself please don’t fill in the booking form, as this will be taken as an order and you will be charged for a place subject to our T&Cs.



Westminster eForum seminars present an opportunity to engage with key policymakers and other interested parties, and are CPD certified (more details). Typically, attendees at our seminars are a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of public policy, together with digital and social media platforms, consumer technology companies, digital advertising companies, other industry representatives from across the technology and digital sectors, charities and not-for-profit organisations, trade bodies and professional associations, lawyers and consultants, organisations and individuals representing the views of consumers and citizens, academics and commentators, and reporters from the national and trade media.

Output and About Us

A key output of the seminar will be a transcript of the proceedings, sent out around 12 working days after the event to all attendees and a wider group of Ministers and officials at DCMS, Home Office and other government departments; Ofcom and other agencies affected by the issues; and Parliamentarians with a special interest in these areas. It will also be made available more widely. This document will include transcripts of all speeches and questions and answers sessions from the day, along with access to PowerPoint presentations (subject to agreement with individual speakers), speakers’ biographies, an attendee list, an agenda, sponsor information, as well as any subsequent press coverage of the day and any articles or comment pieces submitted by delegates. It is made available subject to strict restrictions on public use, similar to those for Select Committee Uncorrected Evidence, and is intended to provide timely information for interested parties who are unable to attend on the day.


All delegates will receive complimentary PDF copies and are invited to contribute to the content.

The Westminster eForum is strictly impartial and cross-party, and draws on the considerable support it receives from within Parliament and Government, and amongst the wider stakeholder community. The Forum has no policy agenda of its own. Forum events are frequently the platform for major policy statements from senior Ministers, regulators and other officials, opposition spokespersons and senior opinion-formers in industry and interest groups. Events regularly receive prominent coverage in the national and trade media.


Booking arrangements

To book places, please use our online booking form.

Once submitted, this will be taken as a confirmed booking and will be subject to our terms and conditions below.

Please pay in advance by credit card on 01344 864796. If advance credit card payment is not possible, please let me know and we may be able to make other arrangements.

Options and charges are as follows:

  • Places at Protecting children online: content regulation, age verification and latest thinking on industry responsibility (including refreshments and PDF copy of the transcripts) are £230 plus VAT;
  • Concessionary rate places for small charities, unfunded individuals and those in similar circumstances are£85 plus VAT. Please be sure to apply for this at the time of booking.


For those who cannot attend:

  • Copies of the briefing document, including full transcripts of all speeches and the questions and comments sessions and further articles from interested parties, will be available approximately 12 daysafter the event for £95 plus VAT;
  • Concessionary rate: £50 plus VAT.


If you find the charge for places a barrier to attending, please let me know as concessionary and complimentary places are made available in certain circumstances (but do be advised that this typically applies to individual service users or carers or the like who are not supported by or part of an organisation, full-time students, people between jobs or who are fully retired with no paid work, and representatives of small charities – notbusinesses, individuals funded by an organisation, or larger charities/not-for-profit companies). Please note terms and conditions below (including cancellation charges).

Book Your Place

Member Surgery

By nwg at East Midlands

The members surgery offers an opportunity for in-depth discussion around any CSE & Human Trafficking issues/concerns/cases/challenges that you may be facing.

Appointments to be made to meet with the CSE Response Unit team for 1-2 hours for a 1:1/Skype/FaceTime/Conference Telephone consultation with the Specialist Team – this has proved extremely helpful to our network.

Contact network@nwgnetwork.org to book a slot

Back by popular demand! Please book on early as this is due to be filled quickly!

By nwg at East Midlands

Zoe is a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist and an experienced Trainer and Consultant. She has over 22 years experience of providing psychotherapy to women and men who have experienced rape, sexual assault and/or childhood sexual abuse; and providing training and consultation to professionals who work with victims/survivors of sexualised traumas (whether therapeutically or within the criminal justice system).

Zoe is generally recognised as having specialist knowledge/expertise in sexualised trauma, domestic abuse, victim behaviour, sex offending and the interviewing of victims of sexual crimes. Additionally Zoe has considerable knowledge regarding the therapeutic needs of victims/survivors of rape, sexual assault, child sexual exploitation/abuse and domestic abuse.

Throughout the day the seminar will cover;

The psychology of the offender:

• the process that precedes offending (Finklehor’s ‘Preconditions Model’)

• the ‘socially skilled’ sex offender

• how and why they target certain victims

• what the psychology of the offender does to the psychology of the victim

• the distorted thinking of sex offenders as reflected in society

• the importance of understanding sex offenders in order to safeguard people from them, recognise them, interview and prosecute them

The neurobiology of threat:

• the adolescent brain

• the specific vulnerabilities of children and, especially, teenagers to sex offenders

• why people do not usually react in ‘logical’ or ‘active’ ways when faced with intimate interpersonal threat

• the impact of the lack of understanding of why the person did not behave ‘logically and actively’, on the individual him or herself (resulting in guilt, shame and feelings of responsibility and, ultimately, potential omissions and alterations in their account), on the investigative and protection process and on criminal justice

• how and why people become vulnerable to repeated victimisation

• how and why victims can become ensnared with the abuser (perhaps not recognising themselves to be victims)

Attachment theory:

• basic concepts will be used to explain the traumatic bonding often observed in victims of intimate interpersonal violence/abuse

• recognising the vulnerabilities that some people have to being targeted and intimately abused/exploited

• understanding what is required from the professional to support people to either not become ensnared in an abusive relationship/environment or to disentangle from such

Book Your Place

16 – 18 Transitions to Adulthood – Derby

By nwg at East Midlands

Delivered by Steve Baguley, the NWG Exploitation Network Education and Community Lead.

Transition from Children’s to Adult Services has been highlighted as a national issue, with a ‘cliff -edge’ of support as vulnerable children turn 18. This training course has drawn on the knowledge and practice experience of Steve Baguley, the Education & Community Lead for the National Child Sexual Exploitation Response Unit. Steve has spent 12 months engaging with services across the country looking at approaches to transition planning and exploring the critical challenges facing practitioners who work with children approaching adulthood

This training course aims to embed in practice some of the findings of the NWG’s report into transitional support for CSE victims and complement our transition benchmarking tool which
is designed to ensure an improved strategic response to the issue. Delegates will develop approaches to working with older children in preparation for transition and be provided with insight into adolescent brain development to better inform their practice. The training will support understanding and the implementation of relevant legislation and practice guidance surrounding transition. Delegates will be provided with guidance on planning for transition and bridging the gap between Adult and Children’s Services, as well as working with CSE victims into adulthood.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course delegates will be able to;

–       Recognise ways in which young people may be perceived and how this can impact on services they receive.

–       Consider challenges we may face when transitioning young people from children to adult services and how we might apply learning to counteract them.

–       Explain what research tells us about this cohort of young people.

–       Compare and discuss ways in which practitioners assess and understand consent and the relevance of this issue to young people above the age of 16.

–       Identify and apply appropriate CSE disruption strategies for young people.

–       Recognise the importance of family support for young people of this age.

–       Demonstrate the use of The Care Act 2014 and Mental Capacity Act 2005 and their appropriateness for young people age 16 and above.

–       Explain the impact of trauma on brain development and ways in which young people respond to trauma and manage emotions.

–       Reflect on examples of developing practice and give consideration to how we might develop our own practice.

Book Your Place

Member Surgery

By nwg at East Midlands

The members surgery offers an opportunity for in-depth discussions around any CSE & Human Trafficking issues/concerns/cases/challenges that you may be facing.

Appointments can be made to meet with the CSE Response Unit team for 1-2 hours for a 1::1/Skype/FaceTime/Telephone Conference consultation with the Specialist Team – this has proved extremely helpful to our network.

Contact network@nwgnetwork.org to book a slot.

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Children Managers Course (includes Level 5 Health)

By other at South West

A two-day training course to provide managers with an understanding of their roles and responsibilities
when managing staff who have a responsibility for safeguarding.

Note: this is not an NWG event, for further information  on this course please see below.

Email info@safe-ltd.com or call 07703 449468

Download Agenda

Working Alongside Families: Experts by Experience – Derby

By nwg at East Midlands

This training course has been developed using the voices and experiences of affected families, to aid the evolution of the workforce in supporting families who are experts by experience of child sexual exploitation (CSE).The course has been produced with the support of members of affected families who want to assist practitioners in considering and reflecting on their own, and organisational practices. They share their experiences of services, the court process, the impact of CSE on them as parents as well as on their child and wider family. Delegates will be encouraged to consider different models of practice and how we work alongside families.

Training will compliment the NWG Parental Support Benchmarking Tool which has been designed to support agencies to examine their current offer to parents affected by child sexual exploitation and to think about the next steps to improve engagement with parents as a safeguarding partner.

Further information on this training course can be found by following this link



09:00 – 09:30 Registration, Tea & Coffee

Morning Session & Coffee Break

Experiences of working alongside each other

Building partnerships

Different models of practice

Afternoon Session & Coffee Break

Evidence, intelligence and working alongside the police

Living through the judicial system

The impact of CSE and trauma

15:50 – 16:00 Evaluation & Certification

Book Your Place

StopSO Training – 3 Day Introduction to Working with Sex Offenders

By other at London

Please note this is not an NWG event

The 3 Day Introduction to Working with Sex Offenders is aimed at counsellors and psychotherapists who may have limited experience of working with sex offenders. Training will also be of benefit to other practitioners such, psychologists nurses, probation officer, and project workers working to support and rehabilitate sex offenders. Completion of all 3 days is a requirement to join the StopSO Therapist Network to receive referrals.

The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, Vauxhall, London SE11 5RR

Day 1 – Crossing the line
Day 2 – Assessing Risk
Day 3 – Treatment Interventions

EARLY BIRD (offer ends 05/12/19)  book 3 consecutive days in London £285

Please email jo@stopso.org.uk or call 07473 799883 for any other details

Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation in Sport – Derby

By nwg at East Midlands

This NWG CPD accredited course has been developed in collaboration with Edge Hill University’s Dr Mike Hartill to provide a greater comprehension around the issue of sexual abuse and exploitation within sport. The course provides attendees with the historical context and prevalence of child sexual exploitation in sport within the UK and beyond. The course looks towards developments in policy that have been put into place to safeguard children in sporting environments and how these may impact on our practice as individuals and as organisations. During the training day learning is enriched through the use of the voices of survivors of CSE in Sport.

The training is delivered by NWG’s Safeguarding in Sport Lead, Kevin Murphy who has a sound understanding of how young people need to be protected when engaging in community activities and has been involved in the International VOICE’s for Truth and Dignity project. This project involves 7 countries researching the experiences of those abused through sport and bringing that knowledge and those voices into his role.

This course is aimed at anyone working within sport who wants to broaden their understanding of abuse in sport along with multi-agency practitioners who work alongside children, young people and their families who wish to extend their understanding and practice in the field of sport.

For more information on this training course please follow this link; https://www.nwgnetwork.org/training/combating-child-sexual-exploitation-in-sport/


09:00 – 09:30 Registration, Tea & Coffee

The NWG Process of CSE and perpetrator modus operandi

The history of CSE and abuse in sport and the perpetrators

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee

Prevalence of abuse and exploitation in sport

Case study

13:15 – 13:45 Lunch

The impact of abuse and exploitation

Developments in policy

14:30 – 14:45 Coffee

Examples of good practice in safeguarding in sport

Next steps

15:50 – 16:00 Evaluation & Certification

Book Your Place

Understanding Trauma Foundation Level – Derby

By nwg at East Midlands

This training is CPD Accredited

The aim of this foundation course is for practitioners to gain an understanding of trauma and the impact it has on the lives of children and young people. The course will take delegates through a journey on how the brain develops during childhood and the importance of understanding this process for our working practice. There will be a focus on how trauma manifests and the ways in which we cope with trauma. In gaining a more in depth understanding of trauma and the impact it has on the lives of children and young people, practitioners will better equipped to offer effective support.

This foundation course is aimed at multi agency practitioners from a variety of sectors and roles who are involved in supporting children, young people and their families in the field of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

The course facilitator will be the NWG Trainer, Sarah Brown.

Since gaining a degree in Youth Studies from Nottingham Trent University Sarah has worked within a variety of backgrounds supporting vulnerable young people and their families, including the role of a Pastoral Manager in a secondary school and as a Family Resource Worker.

After volunteering as a counsellor for several years at ChildLine, Sarah was employed as a supervisor.

It was at ChildLine she developed her child centred, trauma informed approach to working alongside young people. She worked to increase the skills, knowledge and empathy of volunteers in areas such as bullying, abuse, neglect, domestic violence, self-harm and suicide to ensure young people received the best possible support available. Sarah’s time at Childline also involved managing and assessing both safeguarding issues and immediate life threatening situations presented by young people within the counselling room.

Sarah is passionate about the way in which we support young people and the need for services and practitioners to recognise and understand how trauma impacts on young people and how we can offer more effective support based on an increased level of understanding.

For more information on this training course please see the following page on our website; https://www.nwgnetwork.org/training/understanding-trauma/

Book Your Place