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UK's Byron Report: 'Significant Progress' In Improving Child Safety

UK's Byron Report: 'Significant Progress' In Improving Child Safety

March 31, 2010 | By Staff

March 31, 2010 | By Staff
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More: Console/PC

There has been "significant progress on improving children's digital safety" in the UK according to child psychologist Dr. Tanya Byron, who this week published her latest report for the UK government on the state of child safety as it relates to video games and other aspects of the modern digital world.

Byron was tapped in 2007 to investigate children's digital safety. She published her first review, titled The Byron Report, the following year.

That document included a recommendation that the UK centralize its game ratings under a single film-style classification system that would be backed by more explicit legal enforcement. Since then, the UK government has decided to fully adopt the Pan-European Game Industry system already in use in the UK, rather than continue with its existing overlap between PEGI and the British Board of Film Classification. That directive is still passing through Parliament.

"I have made recommendations to help this excellent progress accelerate through," Byron wrote in her latest report, referring to the PEGI adoption. Those recommendations include "widely publicizing the single classification system once it becomes law, looking
at the issues around online gaming," and "ensuring that mobile and internet-enabled device manufacturers are involved in the development of parental controls and include them on their devices."

Since the publication of the 2008 report, the UK government also established the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, in accordance with another of Byron's recommendations.

"The establishment of UKCCIS is a significant achievement, bringing together a range of influential organizations with an interest in, or a responsibility for, keeping children and young people safe on the internet," Byron wrote, noting that the UK is the "first country to demonstrate its commitment to child digital safety" in such a way.

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