Urgent question on criminal records of child sex exploitation victims

19 March 2019

Shadow Policing and Crime Minister, Louise Haigh, asked the Government to make a statement on criminal records of child sex exploitation victims.

This follows reports in the media on victims of child abuse whose career prospects are affected by an obligation to disclose criminal convictions linked to their sexual exploitation in childhood. The victims have accused the government of punishing victims of abuse.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office, Victoria Atkins, replied to the urgent question on behalf of the Government and stated:

"We are committed to working across Government to ensure victims can move on from the abuse they have suffered and that professionals, including the police, who come into contact with the victim, recognise exploitation when they see it and respond appropriately."

Louise Haigh replied to the Under-Secretary and said:

"These victims are not only forced to live with their trauma but also convictions linked to their sexual exploitation in childhood. They are blighted by an obligation to disclose criminal convictions linked to past abuse; forced to tell employers, and even local PTA's about their past convictions. This punitive rule means they simply cannot escape a past in which they were victims."

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Image: PA

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