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UK government ratifies Lanzarote Convention to tackle child sexual exploitation

Victoria Atkins will reaffirm this government’s determination to end the sexual exploitation of children around the world by ratifying the Lanzarote Convention.

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The UK’s compliance with the Lanzarote Convention and this ratification will ensure that we are taking robust action with 43 countries to help rid the globe of the scourge of sexual violence and child abuse through greater information sharing and international cooperation.

The Minister for Crime Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins said:

Our ratification of the Lanzarote Convention sends a clear message that this government is determined to play its part in ending the abuse of children not only in the UK but around the globe.

This government’s record for tackling child sexual exploitation is very strong, but it is a sickening fact that there are children being abused every day by predatory individuals and this is why working with our international partners to prevent further suffering is so vital.

Tink Palmer MBE, chief executive of the Marie Collins Foundation, said:

Since the Marie Collins Foundation was founded 6 years ago to meet the recovery needs of children sexually abused and exploited online, the problem of online sexual abuse of children has grown exponentially.

We are working closely with Home Office on issues connected with internet related crimes and have appreciated the support given to us in order to ensure that children and their families are able to recover and live safe and fulfilling lives.

We welcome the government’s ratification of the Lanzarote Convention as we seek to have a unified approach to the protection of all children wherever they may live.

Michael Tunks from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said:

The IWF is delighted that the UK has today official ratified the Lanzarote Convention. This demonstrates and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to tackling the issue of child sexual abuse.

The IWF has played an important role in informing the work of Lanzarote Committee over the past few years and has also recently secured observer status to ensure that we are able to influence policy and direction of the Committee across the Member States.

The global threat of online child sexual abuse is growing year on year, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Home Office and the Lanzarote Committee to ensure that children are better protected.

The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, known as the Lanzarote Convention, is part of the United Nations and Council of Europe standards to end all kinds of sexual offences against children, including exploitation of children through prostitution, grooming and offences related to child abuse material.

The government is also providing significantly increased resources to the National Crime Agency to tackle child sexual exploitation in the UK. This has led to a near doubling of its investigative capacity and we have committed an additional £20 million over the spending review period to maintain this capability.

The Marie Collins Foundation supports children, young people and families recovering from sexual abuse. They also work with social workers, schools and organisations such as the police to provide training to ensure the right help is given to those in need.

Published 20 June 2018