The current lockdown enforced by the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in thousands of children across the country being home schooled. A number of these children are subject to involvement with the Local Authority and will continue to receive visits from social workers during this time. However, the National Crime Agency are predicting that there could be a rise in child sexual exploitation offences during the Covid-19 pandemic if safeguarding is not appropriately promoted at home.
What is child sexual exploitation?
Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse and can take many different forms, from physical, sexual and emotional abuse of a child. The Governments’ official definition of Child sexual exploitation is:
“Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate, or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual.”
A rise in child sexual exploitation due to the coronavirus – seek advice
The National Crime Agency and children’s charity NSPCC have warned that abusers will:
“exploit shortage of moderators and children spending more time on the internet”.
The coronavirus pandemic is creating major challenges and it is important to continue to safeguard children during this time.
If you are worried your child is at risk of child sexual exploitation during the lockdown then it is crucial that you seek advice to see what can be done to help to protect them using the law.
If you have a child subject to Local Authority involvement at the present time and there are elements of child sexual exploitation in the case which you are worried about then this is also something your solicitor can help you with.
How Nelsons can help
At Nelsons, our expert team can protect your interests and give you the very best advice and guidance. If you are a parent and the child sexual exploitation has come up in the course of care proceedings you will be entitled to free legal aid.
If you need advice in relation to the subjects discussed in this article, please get in touch with Gareth or another member of our expert team in Derby, Leicester or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online form.