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December 5, 2023

Young-looking porn users may face extra age-checks

  • Porn users could have their faces scanned to prove their age, with extra checks for young-looking adults, draft guidance from Ofcom suggest.
  • The average age children first view pornography is 13, a survey suggests.
  • Ofcom now enforces the Online Safety Act, which recently became law, and requires social media platforms and search engines to protect children from harmful content online.
  • Ofcom reports that age checks must be “highly effective at correctly determining whether or not a particular user is a child.”
  • However, they have stated that the biggest concern amongst porn-using adults about proving their age is over the safety of their data.
  • The draft guidance says sites must follow the data protection rules set out by privacy watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
  • Draft codes of practice to cover pornography on social media platforms will be published in 2024.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

£10,000 a year for childcare in NI as parents can’t afford to work

  • Some families in NI are paying over £3,000 a month for childcare costs, and providers are still struggling to stay in business.
  • Employers For Childcare revealed that the average cost of full-time childcare is now almost £10,000 a year for families.
  • Aoife Hamilton from Employers For Childcare, said the rising cost of childcare has left many parents questioning whether they can afford to continue working.
  • Philip Dalgity, chair of Northern Ireland Day Care Owners, said the issue is heightened by families having the lowest disposable income in the UK and the least financial support for childcare provision.
  • Ms Hamilton called upon the Government to provide greater support towards the cost of childcare: “We need to see our Executive back up and running and for the progression of the new Early Learning and Childcare Strategy to be a day one priority.”
  • For more, please visit the Belfast Telegraph website.

One in 10 Northern Ireland children in homes affected by two-child benefit limit

  • The policy, introduced in 2017, affects families entitled to benefits who have a third or subsequent child after 6th April 2017.
  • These parents are denied £3,235 per year per child compared with families who have a third or subsequent child born before that date.
  • The End Child Poverty Coalition has released new research which shows that more than 45,000 children in Northern Ireland are part of affected families.
  • The Coalition, which the Northern Ireland Anti-Poverty Network and Save the Children are part of, using the Freedom of Information Act, show the areas with the highest percentage of affected families are in west and north Belfast.
  • Save the Children’s policy and public affairs adviser Naomi McBurney said the policy is “unjust and unethical.”
  • The NI Anti-Poverty Network and Save the Children are calling on all parties in Northern Ireland to commit to scrapping the two-child policy in Westminster.
  • For more, please visit the Belfast Telegraph website.