Friday, 29th June 2018

Every Child Protected Against Trafficking (ECPAT UK) has been granted core participant status in the Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom investigation held by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), an independent statutory inquiry. The landmark inquiry will examine the extent to which institutions and organisations based in England and Wales have met their responsibilities to protect children outside the United Kingdom from sexual abuse, following serious allegations of abuse by individuals working for British organisations and institutions abroad. ECPAT UK’s long history of monitoring transnational child sexual abuse by British nationals, as well as our campaigns to improve and implement child protection legal frameworks and hold offenders accountable, were acknowledged by the chair of the inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay OBE, in her determination according ECPAT UK core participant statement.

The chair noted that “ECPAT has valuable information about, and links to, victims and survivors of individuals who have travelled abroad to offend, part of its work being to document cases in which British nationals have committed offences abroad. ECPAT also has well-publicised expertise on matters related to British nationals offending abroad, and has published several research papers on the subject.”

ECPAT UK will give evidence and submissions to the second phase of the Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom inquiry, which is the second Case Study investigating the adequacy of the civil framework for preventing overseas travel by individuals who are known by UK authorities to pose a risk to children, and for notifying counterpart authorities abroad of these individuals.

Bharti Patel, CEO of ECPAT UK, says

“We are pleased to be a core participant in the inquiry which we anticipate will result in enhanced child protection systems and measures that will keep the world’s most vulnerable children safe from sexual abuse by British nationals. In giving our evidence to the inquiry we want to ensure that the voices of the children who have suffered sexual abuse are heard, and that there are opportunities for survivors of child sexual abuse to bear witness to the inquiry. We are particularly pleased to review the effectiveness of existing extraterritorial provisions to prevent the abuse of children outside of the UK by British nationals travelling, residing or working abroad and to prosecute offenders perpetrating child abuse in all its forms. The importance of effective legislation cannot be underestimated if the UK is to take a leading role in the protection of children everywhere from sexual abuse and exploitation, and ensure that no British sex offender evades justice.”

ENDS

Press contacts

Sinead Geoghegan, Information, Media and Communications Officer, ECPAT UK: 020 7607 2136 [email protected]

Bharti Patel, CEO, ECPAT UK: 07402 113 985 [email protected]