Watch our video on why 16 and 17 year olds need more support and protection
The Policing and Crime Bill is a vital opportunity for the Government to strengthen the protections and improve the support for 16 and 17 year olds at risk of sexual exploitation.
We’re calling on the Government to include four key things in the bill:
- More powers for police to intervene early to stop sexual exploitation of vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds before it happens
- Better access to mental health support for children who have been sexually abused so they get the help they need early, before reaching crisis
- A new offence for those who use alcohol and drugs to threaten, coerce and groom children
- More consistent data collection by the police so that children get the same protection regardless of what police authority they live in
Please take action today to stand up for vulnerable young people's rights.
16 and 17 year olds don’t get the help they need or the justice they deserve
Article 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) recognises someone as being a child until the age of 18 and Article 34 says thatr governments must protect children from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation. Under Article 39 of the UNCRC, children and young people who have been victims of abuse and neglect should be provided physical and psychological help to recover from their trauma.
Our research has shown that 16 and 17 year olds are more likely to be recorded as ‘children in need’ because of abuse and neglect than any other age group. However, they currently do not get the same level of legal protection as children under this age group. We believe this is a clear breach of their rights as children.
We need your help to collate our submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights who will be examining the Bill.
Please take a moment and tell us why vulnerable older teenagers rights should be recognised.