NCA to get extra £20 million after Government signs treaty against global child abuse
The Government has committed to an international agreement to take “robust action” against child sexual abuse.
Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Minister Victoria Atkins announced the Government’s ratification of the Lanzarote Convention on Wednesday (June 20).
The treaty forms part of international standards to end all kinds of sexual offences against children – including forced prostitution, grooming and indecent image offences.
The Government has also pledged to provide an additional £20 million to the National Crime Agency to improve its investigative capability.
Ms Atkins said: “Our ratification of the Lanzarote Convention sends a clear message that this government is determined to play its part in ending the abuse of children not only in the UK but around the globe.
“This government’s record for tackling child sexual exploitation is very strong, but it is a sickening fact that there are children being abused every day by predatory individuals and this is why working with our international partners to prevent further suffering is so vital.”
The Lanzarote Convention is another name for the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.
It is a legally-binding treaty that obliges countries to take steps preventing sexual violence against children and prosecute offenders.
It also helps participating countries share information and best practice.
The UK’s ratification of the Convention means Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ireland are the only Council of Europe members that have not yet signed the pledge.
Tink Palmer, chief executive of charity The Marie Collins Foundation, said the problem of online child sex abuse has grown “exponentially” over the last six years.
“We are working closely with Home Office on issues connected with internet related crimes and have appreciated the support given to us in order to ensure that children and their families are able to recover and live safe and fulfilling lives,” she added.
“We welcome the Government’s ratification of the Lanzarote Convention as we seek to have a unified approach to the protection of all children wherever they may live.”