Helping parents to safeguard their children from sexual exploitation
The University of Bedfordshire’s International Centre and Parents against child sexual exploitation (Pace) have published an evaluation of the Parents as partners in safeguarding children and young people in Lancashire project, which was delivered from June 2014 – May 2017. This centred around the work of a Parent Liaison Officer (PLO), who provided flexible, one-to-one support to parents and families whose child was at risk, or a victim, of child sexual exploitation (CSE). Key findings include: the PLO helped parents to understand the dynamics of CSE and grooming and respond with more empathy to their child; parents were able to play a more active part in safeguarding their child; the PLO’s support was identified as a key contributor to maintaining a strong record of child/family attendance at court; parents described themselves as more emotionally resilient and able to cope with the impact of CSE because of the PLO’s support.
Source: The International Centre Blog Date: 13 June 2017
Further information: Empowering parents: evaluation of Parents as partners in safeguarding children and young people in Lancashire project 2014 – 2017 (PDF)
Protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation
UNICEF has published a report looking at how the lack of safe and legal pathways for refugee and migrant children feeds a market for human smuggling and puts them at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. The report states that 170,000 unaccompanied and separated children applied for asylum in Europe in 2015 and 2016. UNICEF’s six-point agenda for action to keep refugee and migrants safe includes: increasing safe and legal channels for children to migrate and to seek refuge including: practical alternatives to detention for all children; policies to prevent children from being separated from their parents and other family members in transit; and faster procedures to reunite children with their families.
Source: UNICEF Date: 18 May 2017
Further information: A child is a child – protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation (PDF)
Internet related child sex offences
The NSPCC has released figures following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to police forces in England and Wales looking at internet-related sex offences. Figures from 39 police forces who responded to the FOI show that: 5,653 police-recorded child sexual offences in 2016/17 had an online element, an increase of 44% from 2015/16 figures; nearly 100 offences were committed against children aged 10 and under; 13 was the most common age of the victim (where recorded). The NSPCC is calling on the government to introduce strict online safety measures including: an independent regulator to hold social media companies to account; minimum standards that internet companies must meet to safeguard children; safer social media accounts for children with default privacy settings.
Source: NSPCC Date: 01 June 2017