18 Nov 2014

18 November 2014

NI Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley-Mooney said:  “Child Sexual Exploitation is a scourge on our society and causes immeasurable harm to each child or young person that suffers from this form of abuse”

“I welcome today’s publication of Professor Kathleen Marshall’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation, and I look forward to examining its conclusions in detail.  I hope all arms of government will examine the recommendations as a matter of urgency.”

“Above all we must not forget the victims. As lessons are learned  and improved processes and procedures are put in place, we must focus on supporting the victims at the heart of it all;  we must take the time to listen to children and young people and more importantly, act upon what they tell us.” 

“We must educate all children and young people about the risks and signs of sexual exploitation and empower them to understand what a healthly relationship is and how to keep themselves safe. 

“Unfortunately, young people rarely see themselves as victims of sexual exploitation and are unlikely to disclose that this is happening to them, it is the responsibility of parents, professionals and communities to be aware of the signs and act when they have concerns.

“As Commissioner for Children and Young People I have previously raised the issues associated with Child Sexual Exploitation and I hope that my successor will witness much progress in coming months.