Blog

Baroness Joanna Shields OBE

UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security

“When my time is up, will I have done enough”?

Your excellences’, colleagues, friends, and child representatives, on behalf of the HM government of the United Kingdom and the WePROTECT Global Alliance to End Child Sexual Exploitation Online, I would like to thank the governments of Mexico, Indonesia, Sweden and Tanzania for hosting this event today and for their unwavering commitment to protecting vulnerable children from violence and harm. 

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“Are you going to run in that?”

I'm used to being under pressure to win. My formula is to always come prepared. But I wasn't this time.

“Are you going to run in that?”

I was single mom living in London, running international operations for a fast-growing US high-tech company. I had a board presentation on the West Coast and had managed to catch the last transatlantic flight back home to the UK. It was a big day for my five-year-old son. His school was holding its annual sports day and he was really looking forward to having me there.

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WeProtect Summit in the UAE on preventing online child abuse and exploitation.

Thank you Your Highness. Your moving words reflect perfectly the goals of WeProtect and the importance of our global commitment to eradicate this crime and ensure the safety of children in the digital world.

On behalf of the United Kingdom and the WeProtect International Advisory Board, I would like to thank the United Arab Emirates for the warm welcome you have extended to all of us and of course for your inspired leadership and unwavering commitment to this agenda.

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Preventing Crime In The Digital Age

International Crime and Policing Conference 2016. 

Clearly our thoughts are with those who have been affected by the events in Brussels. I would like to echo the sentiments of the Prime Minister, who has spoken of his shock and concern. We will await information urgently during the course of the day.

Turning to the reason why we are all here today, I would like to extend special appreciation to the many colleagues who have travelled here to participate, from across the UK and overseas. I am pleased that we could come together for this important dialogue and that delegates come from such a broad range of backgrounds - law enforcement, academia, the voluntary sector, industry and government.

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For the Love of Learning

When my son was growing up, one of our favourite pastimes was to talk about Time Travel. What if you could observe Turner painting The Fighting Temeraire, listen to Socrates deliver his ‘Apology’ or watch George Best play at the 1966 European Cup quarter-finals?

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To The People No One Imagines Anything Of

In Parliament when we start a speech or enter a debate, we must declare any interests or allegiances before we begin speaking. I start by saying “My Lords, I must first declare my interest as the Prime Minister’s Digital Advisor…” Well today, I must declare my interest as Ben Shields’ Mom and to apologise to him in advance if anything I write here will embarrass, humiliate or otherwise cause him undue stress or anxiety. I am sure he has your sympathies.

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#WeProtect Children Online Global Summit

Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you all for accepting our invitation to participate in #WeProtect and for joining us in a global commitment to protect the safety of children in the digital world.

We’re here today to take global action on one of the most complex, the most alarming, and the most challenging issues that we face as a society. Everyone in this room agrees that stopping the rise of online child abuse and exploitation is an urgent priority.

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Copyright 2017 JOANNA SHIELDS