Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland Children’s Commissioner, said:
‘Today is an important day as it provides a reminder of the need to protect and safeguard all our children and young people from sexual and other types of abuse.
‘This year we saw the UK Government sign up to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (the Lanzarote Convention). This was a significant step forward as it places a responsibility on our Government to fulfil their obligations under this important Convention.
In Northern Ireland, the majority of sexual offences reported to the police are committed against children and young people.
‘As Sir John Gillen’s review of sexual offence cases continues, my office’s advice highlights the need to change how child victims of sexual abuse are treated and to improve the fairness and quality of justice for all.
‘In Northern Ireland, Government has committed to implementing the recommendations from the 2014 Independent Inquiry into CSE in order to better protect children and more effectively purse and prosecute those who seek to harm them. We are continuing to monitor this process closely.’