15 Feb 2005

After seeing footage filmed by the BBC on 13th February, 2005, Mr Williams said the exploitation of vulnerable children in this way was very worrying.

“Young teenagers out around streets and bars in the early hours of the morning is frightening enough,” he said. “That they are being used to earn money for others in this way is clearly wrong.

“From the images I saw the looks on the faces of a 13-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were of fear and confusion.”

The Commissioner said he urged all relevant agencies to act before the exploitation became much worse.

“I fear for these children and that is why I am asking the relevant health and social services trust and other agencies to work together to find out more about these children's circumstances and provide them with the necessary support.

“I am also worried that after this problem has been highlighted that those using these children may move them to other parts of Northern Ireland to continue their exploitation.”

ENDS

For further information on the work of the commissioner visit www.niccy.org.