Sexual offences

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The page will automatically redirect to Sexual Offences Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on sexual offences. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

20.10.2016Commons Library analysis of the Sexual Offences (Pardons Etc.) Bill 2016-17
The Sexual Offences (Pardons Etc.) Bill 2016-17 is a Private Member's Bill. It would pardon anyone convicted of certain historic gay sex offences. It would also extend the existing "disregard scheme" under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
11.08.2016The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and background
This briefing concerns the establishment of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, a statutory Inquiry which formally opened in July 2015. This Inquiry replaced the previous, non-statutory, Inquiry set up in July 2014 which saw both of its Chairs resign; on 4 August 2016, Justice Goddard resigned as the Chair of the statutory inquiry and on 11 August it was announced that Professor Alexis Jay would be the new Chair.
22.07.2016Modern Slavery Act 2015: Recent Developments
Modern slavery is organised crime encompassing sexual exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude. All the countries of the UK have brought in legislation to deal with the problem of modern slavery. This briefing paper looks at the Modern Slavery Act 2015 which applies in England and Wales.
23.05.2016Registration and management of sex offenders
This note provides an overview of the various measures in Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 aimed at enabling the police to monitor and manage sex offenders living in the local area. It considers the requirement for certain sex offenders to notify the police of personal information such as their name and address, and to update the police whenever this information changes. The police record of these notifications is commonly referred to as the "sex offenders' register". It also considers a range of civil orders that can be used to manage the behaviour of sex offenders.
07.01.2016Extreme pornography: UK law
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the law relating to the possession of extreme pornography.
13.03.2015Modern Slavery Bill: Progress of the Bill
This is a note on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Modern Slavery Bill. It complements Library Research Paper 14/37 prepared for the Commons Second Reading.
12.02.2015Serious Crime Bill: Progress of the Bill
The Serious Crime Bill [HL] 2013-14 had its second reading in the Commons on 5 January 2015. Library Research Paper 14/67 Serious Crime Bill provides background on the proposals in the Bill.
02.07.2014Modern Slavery Bill 2014-15
This Bill modernises and consolidates the offences relating to slavery, and creates an Anti-Slavery Commissioner, and provision for child trafficking advocates.
12.06.2014Criminal Justice and Courts Bill: Commons stages
The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2013-14 had its second reading on 24 February 2014 and was carried over to 2014-15 session. Library Research Paper 14/8 The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill provides background on the proposals in the Bill. There are four parts covering criminal justice, including offences relating to extreme pornographic images and release and recall of prisoners, young offenders, secure colleges and youth cautions, changes to courts and tribunals, including strict liability and jury misconduct, and judicial review changes, which attracted much written and oral evidence.
05.03.2014Combating violence against women and girls around the world
As 8 March, International Women's Day, approaches, this note briefly surveys efforts to combat violence against women and girls around the world, focusing strongly on those that involve the UK.

Lords Library Notes

27.06.2016Historical Child Sex Abuse Investigations
A number of investigations into historical child sex abuse in the UK have been launched by the police and public institutions in recent years. This follows allegations that claims of child sex abuse made against public figures had not been properly investigated in the past. This briefing focuses on the existing guidance for conducting these investigations and provides background information on recent investigations that have taken place. It has been written in preparation for a debate that is due to take place in the House of Lords on 30 June 2016 on the case for introducing statutory guidelines relating to the investigation of cases of historical child sex abuse.
10.09.2015Treatment of LGBTI Citizens Worldwide
This Library Note has been written to support the House of Lords debate on the global treatment of LGBTI citizens.
13.11.2014Modern Slavery Bill (HL Bill 51 of 2014-15)
This Library Note provides information on the Modern Slavery Bill, which is due for second reading in the House of Lords on 17 November 2014.
22.10.2012Debate on 25 October: Looked-after Children
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate on looked-after children on 25 October.
23.01.2012Question for Short Debate on 2 February: Human Trafficking
This Lords Library Note provides definitions of human trafficking, statistics on its incidence, and an outline of domestic and international policy to combat the problem.


16.12.2015Policing Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse refers to a range of behaviours - psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional - that are directed towards partners, ex-partners or family members. This POSTnote examines the prevalence and nature of domestic abuse and the policing response. It examines how the policing response could be informed by research about the effectiveness of current and alternative approaches, and the possible benefits for victims, their families and offenders.

Early Day Motions

That this House is concerned that a YouGov poll for the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAWC) found that close to one in three girls in UK schools experiences unwanted sexual ...
That this House recognises the role played by survivors' groups, such as Survivors Helping Each Otherin Nottinghamshire; further recognises that such groups help the victims of sexual ...
That this House congratulates the Soroptimist International of Poole for highlighting issues of trafficking for sexual exploitation through the Purple Teardrop Campaign; recognises ...
That this House believes that the Government's proposal to grant anonymity to defendants in rape cases sends a message to juries and rape victims that the victim is not to be believed; ...
That this House condemns human trafficking; notes with dismay that human trafficking for the sex trade is a particularly brutal part of this criminal activity; further notes that this ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses