The UK must demonstrate its commitment to combat the sexual abuse of children in travel and tourism by ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention), according to an updated briefing by ECPAT UK

Recent high profile cases have highlighted the UK Government’s continuing failure to protect children worldwide from British travelling sex offenders.

In their latest updated briefing, ECPAT UK says the UK must immediately ratify the Lanzarote Convention to reinforce efforts to prevent child sexual abuse abroad and to promote greater international cooperation to bring offenders to justice across borders.

The UK has no single team dedicated to investigating and prosecuting transnational child exploitation, which significantly inhibits its ability to monitor data and cooperate on international investigations involving British offenders.

Since 2012, the current Government has continued to maintain that “officials across a number of Government Departments are currently considering the steps that would be required to ratify the Council of Europe Convention (Home Office, personal communication, 22 January 2013).”

New information has also emerged showing that the UK Government has repeatedly failed to send a representative to the Convention Committee meetings for assessment of the level of state implementation of the Convention and its provisions.

Only 13 of 47 Council of Europe member states have failed to ratify and implement the convention, including the UK, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Liechtenstein and Slovakia.

CLICK HERE to read our briefing