Sexual exploitation of children involved in the Children’s Hearings System

Date: 28th October 2020
Category: Equal protection from violence

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This study is the first at a national level in Scotland on child sexual exploitation and the first to consider the vulnerabilities to sexual exploitation experienced by both girls and boys. It aims to develop an understanding as to why some children in Scotland become so vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

The focus of the study is on children in the care system and involved in Children’s Hearings, as these children have previously been identified as being particularly vulnerable.

The study aims to answer four questions:

  1. What are the pathways of children to becoming at risk of sexual exploitation?
  2. When child sexual exploitation vulnerability indicators first emerged, were these recognised as such by agencies and interventions made to protect and support the child?
  3. What are the backgrounds, vulnerabilities and trajectories of boys most at risk of sexual exploitation in Scotland?
  4. Is child sexual exploitation considered in decision making by Children’s Hearings for children who are victims of sexual exploitation?

Accompanying this report is a policy paper with recommendations arising from this research. It is advised that the two reports should be read in parallel for a full understanding of both the evidence and recommendations made by Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration and Barnardo’s Scotland.

Read the study in full here.

Read the policy paper in full here.