Barnardo’s steps up fight against child prostitution

Children’s charity Barnardo’s has published the results of a two-year study into the extent to which UK children are being groomed for sex.

The hard-hitting report, entitled ‘Reducing the risk, Barnardo’s support for sexually exploited young people’, is being used to remind the Government of its commitment to focus on child protection. It specifically pledged to protect kids from prostitution in a January  white paper.

Principal policy officer Pam Hibbert said: ‘We are taking this opportunity to ask how much progress the Government has made and how we can help.’

The charity is using case studies of children it has helped to demonstrate what can be done with sufficient resources.

The priority is its call for more investment.

Starting this week it will run seminars for local authority decision-makers, drawing their attention to how its care model works.

Chief executive Martin Carey said the charity had proved how children could be helped to avoid prostitution, but extra money was needed to do more.

‘We cannot do it alone,’ he added, referring to the £1.6m spent by the charity on anti-child prostitution work.

The report is also being released to national and regional media.

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