Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Dr Geoffrey Shannon has called for the introduction of an offence that would allow for the prosecution of individuals suspected of leading children into crime. 

In his latest report, Dr Shannon also proposes that harmful online material, particularly relating to children, should be taken down promptly by social media companies.

Dr Shannon's tenth report makes 40 recommendations that cover a broad range of issues such as the legal rights of children, discrimination, homelessness and child prostitution.

One of the key recommendations in the report, which runs to 240 pages, is the introduction of a so-called Fagin's law. 

Dr Shannon proposes a special offence should be created to prosecute adults who groom children to carry out crimes including theft, prostitution, assault and murder.

He recommends up to ten years in prison on conviction.

Dr Shannon says the current laws in the area relating to incitement are too general and his proposal is similar to that being considered in parts of Australia.

Separately, he recommends that social media companies place a greater focus on taking down harmful content promptly. He says this would minimise any long-term damage to children.

In terms of children posting harmful material about other children, he recommends this should be dealt with outside the criminal justice system, with parental involvement to prevent recurrence.

The report adds that an in-depth analysis of Brexit's implications on family and child law in Ireland should be undertaken. 

Dr Shannon's recommendation that an office for a digital safety commissioner should be established here has been welcomed by the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) Childline.

Grania Long, chief executive of the ISPCC Childline, said a set of national standards are required for organisations that provide online services.

"What we need now is a single office that will regulate not just the organisations that provide online services and digital services to children, but regulate them and end up with a single set of national standards for take-down procedures online and how you can contact a child online.  We need this now in Ireland and we need a single office to do that," Ms Long told RTÉ's Today with Seán O'Rourke programme.