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For adults only? Underage access to online porn, 28/03/14 [E/NI/S/W]

This research highlights the scale of underage access to adult websites and calls for further government action to protect children from exposure to hardcore porn online.

The Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) tracked the actions of children and teenagers using the internet from a desktop or laptop in December 2013 and found that at least 44,000 primary school children accessed an adult website one in 35 of six to 11 year-olds in the UK going online.

It also found that 200,000 under-16s accessed an adult website from a computer. This is one in 16 children in that age group who went online in the same month. The figures are almost bound to be a significant under-estimation because technical limitations prevent the inclusion of internet usage using a smartphone, tablet or other handheld device and these devices are often the access route of choice for young people.

Advising that tens of thousands of children are watching explicit pornographic videos on foreign websites and the authorities are powerless to stop them, ATVOD is recommending that government reinforce in law the requirement for UK operators to put R18 material behind access controls. It is also urging government to work on securing changes to European rules to ensure similar children protection measures are in place across the EU.

For full details see the ATVOD website.

Further Information

For adults only? Underage access to online porn