Online safety regulators stand shoulder to shoulder as global network expands

Regulators from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Pacific came together in London today, as the Global Online Safety Regulators Network held its first annual in-person meeting.  

The Network officially welcomed two new members, the Korea Communications Standards Commission and the Film and Publication Board of South Africa, as well as observers from Germany, New Zealand and Canada, expanding its presence across five continents.  

To enhance technical expertise and coordination amongst regulators, the Network also announced the creation of a new Technology Working Group. The working group, which pools diverse expertise across technology, policy and research, will work towards greater coordination on technical solutions for age assurance as well as exploring the impact of generative AI on online safety.  

Network members also released its first position statement to underscore the centrality of human rights to online safety regulation, and members’ commitment to a rights-based approach to their regulatory work.  

Quotes attributable to Network members 

Julie Inman Grant, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner 

“Every year we see the scourge of online abuse and exploitation grow and new forms of harm are emerging all the time, such as AI-generated child sexual abuse material. Without coordinated global action we’re limited in our ability to stop it. 

“Rather than a global 'splinternet' of inconsistent regulation, we need an effective network of global regulators working together to make the online world safer.” 

Tajeshwari Devi, A/g Commissioner, Online Safety Commission, Fiji 

“The challenges faced by Fiji in tackling online harms are not unique; they resonate with many developing nations struggling to keep up with rapid technological change. 

“The Online Safety Regulators Network provides an opportunity for Fiji to gain valuable insights into successful approaches taken by other countries, and enables us to implement robust policies and regulations tailored to Fiji’s specific needs, while leveraging international support." 

Niamh Hodnett, Online Safety Commissioner, Coimisiún na Meán, Ireland 

“Online safety crosses all borders and is a shared global concern. As part of the Global Online Safety Regulators Network, we work together and learn from each other to address issues which no one country can tackle alone.” 

Eun-hee Choi, Head of the Digital Sex Crime Content Review Bureau, Korea Communications Standards Commission, Republic of Korea 

“As technology advances and people gain wider access to the online space, the dissemination of ‘illegal and harmful content’ including image-based sexual abuse and child sexual exploitative material, goes beyond national boundaries, while posing limitations on individual countries’ regulatory efforts.   

"We hope that when regulators responsible for online safety unite and speaks in unison, the world will collectively embrace the global sense of social responsibility within the online sphere.” 

Mashilo Boloka, Film and Publication Board, South Africa 

“The Network represents a collaborative initiative to fight the borderless online harms, pursue harmonisation to avoid fragmentation of online safety legislation and coordinated online safety measures and promote online safety across the continents.  

“As the Film & Publication Board of South Africa, we are excited to be a member of this Network. As the only representative on the African continent, we will ensure that voice of other regulators on the continent and the other developing worlds is heard. We will persuade other regulators on the continent to join the Network so that they can seize the opportunities it provides, information sharing on experiences and best practices so that we can together promote a safer online environment and fight online harms wherever it exists.” 

Gill Whitehead, Ofcom’s Group Director for Online Safety  

“The risks people face online don’t respect national borders. So it’s critical that regulators across the world have a dedicated forum to share experience, expertise and evidence as we collectively strive for a safer life online. 

“Ofcom will very soon be assuming new powers to regulate online safety in the UK, and we were delighted to host regulators from the world over in London today. This global network will help us create consistent and effective regulation for all our citizens.” 

Note to editors

The Global Online Safety Regulators Network is a collaboration between the first movers in online safety regulation. The Network paves the way for a coherent international approach to online safety regulation, by enabling online safety regulators to share insights, experience and best practices.  

Current Network members include: 

eSafety Commissioner – Australia (Chair) 

Online Safety Commission – Fiji  

Coimisiún na Meán – Ireland 

Korea Communications Standards Commission – Republic of Korea 

Film and Publication Board – South Africa 

Office of Communications (Ofcom) – United Kingdom 

Members share a commitment to act independently of commercial and political influence, and adhere to objective criteria for respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Network is also open to observers – specifically organisations that have expertise and interest with online safety regulation and who wish to follow and engage with the Network. 

Current observers include: 

Department of Canadian Heritage – Canada  

Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter e.V. (FSM) – Germany 

Netsafe – New Zealand 

Te Mana Whakaatu | Classification Office – New Zealand 

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