Committee to tackle and prevent abuse of children

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Efforts to eradicate the sexual exploitation of children are to be looked at by a parliamentary committee.

The Public Petitions Committee has been studying the success of current guidelines and practices over the past month, and will now focus on the barriers that prevent cases being reported and investigated.

The committee wants to hear from bodies working to tackle exploitation, to find out the ­difficulties which exist in ­relation to the identification, disruption and prosecution of the perpetrators.

The key issues include existing barriers to identifying perpetrators of child sexual exploitation, training needed to identify perpetrators and victims, difficulties in keeping children living in care safe, and monitoring of social media communications.

Convener David Stewart MSP said: “There are thousands of people across Scotland who work tirelessly to tackle the sexual exploitation of children and help support its victims.

“We want to hear from people on the front line about the barriers they face on a daily basis and about what more needs to be done to tackle and prevent this shameful abuse of children from across Scotland, including the emerging issue of online and social media abuse.”