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Business backs UK to be world leader in internet regulation

BUSINESS supports clear regulation which can play a crucial role in building trust in the digital economy. But current proposals risk falling short of the Government's ambition to be the best and safest place to build a digital business, according to a White Paper response by the CBI.

The UK's leading business organisation has developed a 5 point plan for creating world leading internet regulation which includes:-

Backing a new independent regulator as part of OFCOM.

Providing clear rules to follow; greater clarity on the definitions, legal responsibilities and scope.

Drawing up enforcement measures which are both proportionate and feasible.

Joining up Government initiatives on tech policy and regulation.

Enhancing digital literacy across business and the wider UK public.

Building trust in technology we use every day is vital for both society and the economy. The UK digital sector has become an economic powerhouse for the country, creating jobs almost 3 times faster than the rest of economy. But 76% of adult internet users express concern about going online and CBI research highlights the importance of trust and privacy for customers determining where to spend their money.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director General said:- "The UK has a unique opportunity to set out a world leading approach to internet regulation.  We can be the international yardstick for how best to protect people from harm online, while also supporting the UK's flourishing digital economy. While the UK leads its digital competitors, it cannot rest on its laurels. Major regulatory interventions must be internationally workable and sought after by the rest of the world. After speaking to businesses across the country, from start ups to multinationals, it's clear these proposals fall short and can be improved. For example, the Duty of Care should focus on illegal harmful content and re-examine proposals for legal, but harmful issues. Ofcom can be the home for new regulator, but for it to be successful it must be independent, properly resourced and equipped with the right expertise. Both Government and industry should have the responsibility for funding the new regulator; the Government cannot out source its responsibility to build public trust and keep its citizens safe.  Firms want to see the UK leading the way in internet safety. At such an important time the stakes could not be higher; do it well and the UK can lead the world in internet regulation. But done badly, poor regulation will undermine new entrants into the digital economy and dampen UK investment, while having minimal impact on improving public trust."

Full details of the CBI recommendations:-

Deliver proposals based on the principles of good regulation, prioritising proportionality, feasibility, and effectiveness.

Improve the clarity of scope, definitions, legal responsibilities as well as the Government's intended success measures; to give businesses clear rules to follow.

Focus the Duty of Care on illegal harms and rethink regulatory proposals for legal but harmful content.

Outline how companies can fulfil their duty of care obligations without general monitoring; especially for legal, but harmful content.

Publish an impact assessment of the regulatory proposals within the white paper.

Embed a world class regulator within Ofcom, an independent and well respected regulator.

Maintain the approach of the regulator, based on systemic failure and highest risk

Equip the regulator with significant resources, technical expertise and independence to be successful.

Jointly fund the regulator through a proportionate business and Government partnership, with business funding proportionate to company size and relevance to the regulator's work.

Back up regulation with proportionate and feasible enforcement measures.

Create an action plan for how the UK will coordinate internationally on online harms and showcase its leadership.

Develop annual transparency reporting based on flexible reporting criteria.

Clarify ISP blocking proposals; making it mandatory and last resort.

Reserve any executive liability for the most serious instances, focused on illegal harms and specific individual executive actions.

Join up current Government initiatives on tech policy and regulation.

Government departments must create a coherent package of tech policy and regulation to avoid a fragmented approach for business; that includes wider economic harms.

Give the regulator a mandate to monitor the coherence of UK technology policy and make recommendations to Government to improve it.

HM Treasury and DCMS should formally respond to the business led review into the competitiveness of the UK tech sector.

Enhance education and digital literacy proposals as a core pillar to regulation that empowers users.

Government and the regulator must coordinate all existing media literacy and digital skills activities to make these great than the sum of their parts and focus on adult education.

Take meaningful action on innovation, particularly safety technologies, as an opportunity to address online harms.

North West parents unaware physical activity help children develop skills to deal with life's challenges

A new survey from Change4Life and Disney UK has found that less than ½ of parents in the North West are aware that physical activity can build children's self confidence (49%) reduce anxiety (49%) and improve their self-esteem (44%). Just 11% think that physical activity can help children develop attributes which make it easier to cope with life's little set backs. Evidence shows that children and young people who are more active have more confidence, higher self esteem, less anxiety and stress and better social skills; attributes that can help them deal with the challenges they face in daily life, 2 Positive attitudes towards physical activity have also been associated with children being happier. The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend that children do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, yet just 20% of boys and even fewer girls (14%), are meeting this target, despite 95% of children in the North West saying that they enjoy being active.

To help the kids in the North West get more active this summer, the Change4Life campaign is encouraging children to play 10 Minute Shake Up games inspired by favourite characters from:- Disney and Pixar's Toy Story 4 and Incredibles 2; and Disney's Frozen and The Lion King. Nearly (65%) of children in the North West surveyed said they would be inspired to be more physically active if they saw their favourite characters being active. 81% of parents think that kids are likely to enjoy sports and physical activities if they're fun and 54% of children agree that this helps. Change4Life has also launched a new online quiz to help children, with their parents, find activities and sports that might be perfect for them to try, based on their skills and abilities.

According to the survey, around ½ of children in the North West think that they need to be 'fast' (51%) or 'strong' (41%) to be physically active and only 26% see themselves as:- 'sporty.' The campaign reinforces that simple daily activities like active play, scooting or walking count, so by encouraging them, parents can help their children become more active.

PHE North West's Children and Young People lead Steve Morton said:- "It's really important our children are fit and healthy and it's concerning to see how few kids in the North West are active despite saying how much they enjoy it. Being physically active gives children more energy, can help with focus and concentration skills as well as having a positive effect on mood and behaviour. The Change4Life 10 minute Shake Up campaign is a fun and exciting way for kids to be active this summer as well as develop skills that will help them throughout their life."

Housing and youth care providers urged to be "at the forefront of the fight against modern slavery"

HOUSING and care providers for young people are being urged to be at the:- "forefront of the fight against modern slavery" by taking advantage of new training organised by the region's Police Commissioner designed to ensure they are aware of important new changes in the law.  Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has arranged the training to ensure businesses are aware of upcoming changes to the:- 'Modern Slavery Act' which will require public sector bodies to do more to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking, both within their organisation and the whole of their supply chain. Following a review of the Modern Slavery Act led by Rt. Hon. Yvette Cooper MP in 2018, a series of recommendations have been made to make the law more effective. Crucially, this includes a new obligation for organisations with a turnover of ₤36m or more to produce an annual modern slavery transparency statement. This statement will require organisations to set out what they are doing as an organisation to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking. Failure to comply with these new requirements could lead to organisations being excluded from future public sector commissioning and procurement procedures. In preparation for the changes, the Region's Police Commissioner has united with Southport based not for profit company Libre Solutions Ltd to host a day of training at the International Slavery Museum, on Tuesday, 9 July 2019. The event will ensure organisations have a better understanding of how organised crime can infiltrate business to put victims to work, the potential risks, and ensure businesses are equipped with a range of protective measures to protect themselves and ensure they are compliant with the changes in legislation.

Jane said:- "In the UK, slavery was abolished more than 180 years ago. Yet we know it's still happening today and sadly in our own communities, here in Merseyside. These changes to the Modern Slavery Act will support efforts to put a stop to slavery and human trafficking and ensure large organisations are playing their part in facing this issue. I recognise that businesses will require help and support in understanding these changes. So, as a 1st step, I am arranging to host a series of education awareness events, each aimed at different sectors, to help organisations prepare for the significant new responsibilities they face. This 1st workshop is designed for organisations which provide housing and care for young people. These are businesses which have the ability to implement changes that can make a genuine difference, protecting some of the most vulnerable people and young people in our neighbourhoods. This training will help those organisations by ensuring they are fully aware of these important changes and know how to respond appropriately, putting their business at the forefront of the fight against modern slavery. I would urge organisations working in this sector to send staff to this event and ensure they are equipped and ready to face these changes head on, ensuring they don't fall foul of the Act while also playing their part in protecting their service users."

Libre Solutions trustee Gary Spratt said:- "Viewing slavery as an embarrassment from Britain's colonial past is commonplace, but modern slavery, is in fact, 1 of the fastest growing crimes in the world. With more people enslaved today than at any time in history, and with organised crime groups putting slaves to work in industries across the UK, the horrors of slavery are still very real. We work with partners and businesses, identifying supply chain vulnerabilities that organised criminals exploit to extract money and abuse vulnerable workers. Libre Solutions feel privileged that Merseyside Police Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy, has asked us to put on these events, as slavery is too abhorrent a crime to ignore. Many businesses only become aware that they are employing modern slaves once it is too late, and victims are found to have been put to work within their supply chains. As well as the obvious suffering of the victims, the brand and reputational damage this causes can be devastating. Things can be done, and processes put in place, at minimal cost to protect businesses from this threat. Prior to the Abolition vote, in 1789, William Wilberforce told Parliament, 'You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know!' He was right then and he still is today."

All profits from the event will go to victims' services and tickets can be purchased via the Eventbrite website here Merseyside PCC Modern Slavery Act Changes or go to the EVENTBRITE website and search:- "Merseyside Modern Slavery."

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