Tackling child exploitation

A SCOTTISH parliamentary committee has launched an inquiry into measures taken to protect children from sexual exploitation.

The public petitions committee will, from this week, study the effectiveness of practices and guidelines in place to prevent the sexual exploitation of Scottish children – and what more needs to be done.

The inquiry follows a petition submitted by Barnardo’s Scotland, and was launched during a meeting between the charity and committee convener David Stewart MSP, who said: “A childhood free from exploitation of any sort should be a right for every child.

“Our committee wants to examine the current measures in place to tackle this shocking and devastating practice.

“We will also look at what needs to be done to address the sexual exploitation of children as well as supporting victims to rebuild their lives.

“There will be no easy answers, but we want to ensure that everything possible is being done to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.”

The committee has also launched a consultation with those working to tackle child exploitation, asking key questions including the most common types of exploitation, the main routes of involvement, good and bad examples of current practice and any changes which would be helpful.

The closing date for submissions – to be sent to petitions@scottish.parliament.uk or Public Petitions Committee, T3.40, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP – is April 30.