Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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Government commits to delivering Byron recommendations

Government commits to delivering Byron recommendations

DEPARTMENT FOR CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT News Release (030/2008) issued by The Government News Network on 27 March 2008

Joint DCMS/DCSF Press Release

Ed Balls and Andy Burnham today welcomed the Byron Review of the risks to children of potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games. Accepting all Dr Byron's recommendations, they pledged to act immediately on taking forward her proposals.

This commits the Government to push forward with the ambitious actions set out in Tanya Byron's report 'Safer Children in a Digital World.' The Department for Children Schools and Families and Department for Culture Media and Sport will work with industry, schools and parents to ensure children and young people remain safe in the online world.

Ed Balls Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families said:

"Our aim is to make this the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up. In our Children's Plan consultations parents have told us the internet is an issue which really worries them and they want help in balancing the risks and the opportunities.

"I am grateful to Dr Byron for carrying out this review and the recommendations show a convincing analysis of how we can properly manage risk in a fast paced, fast changing new media environment.

"I welcome Dr Byron's focus on a shared culture of responsibility. Keeping children and young people safe from harm must be the priority and responsibility of us all. However, children also need to be able to learn, have new experiences and enjoy their childhoods. So we will help families strike the right balance between keeping children safe and allowing them the freedom they need by taking forward Dr Byron's recommendations.

"Children and young people often know more about the latest developments in new technology and video games than adults do. Dr Byron's recommendations will help parents to recognise risks and judge what is appropriate, such as bringing the 12+ rating on video games in line with film age classification.

"This important issue remains a priority for Government and a UK Council on Child Internet Safety, established by and reporting to the Prime Minister will lead on a national strategy for improving child internet safety."

Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said:

"As Dr Byron points out, parents of my generation, who grew up in a purely analogue world, face real challenges in understanding the new media world.

"This is a landmark report, setting out clearly for the first time how we can make sure that children can enjoy the benefits of new technology, while being protected from inappropriate material. There is no question that children can benefit greatly from the digital world, but there are real risks that must be managed.

"We can all - the Government, parents and the industry - play a part in reducing that risk and Dr Byron has set out a clear plan of action.

"I am committed to working with the internet and games industries to build on existing safeguards. Specifically, we will consult on a more coherent classification system for video games. We want to empower young people and allow them to enjoy the educational, social and entertainment potential of the digital age.

"Dr Byron has shown how direct engagement with children and parents can illuminate the issues and reveal the best ways of making a real difference to our lives."

DCSF and DCMS will now work together with other key Departments including Home Office, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to take forward Dr Byron's recommendations.

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