Child Protection

Orders of the Day — Petitions – in the House of Commons at 10:03 pm on 12th March 1997.

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Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons), Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 10:03 pm, 12th March 1997

I have two petitions to present, both of which are on the same subject and relate to a Bill that is to come before the other place on Friday. The first is The Humble Petition of the Conference of Religions of England and Wales with Action for Children campaign and other Citizens of the United Kingdom. The second is The Humble Petition of Citizens of the United Kingdom residing in Switzerland and elsewhere. The petitions affirm our commitment to the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which seeks to protect children from sexual exploitation;and call upon Her Majesty's Government to seek to play an active role in bringing about concerted international action to tackle this problem and in particular to examine ways of ensuring that individuals involved in such exploitation are brought to justice within the United Kingdom;wherefore, your petitioners pray that your honourable House do introduce legislation to ensure that citizens of the United Kingdom who commit serious sexual offences against children abroad can be prosecuted in this country.

The petitioners wanted the petition to be presented before the debate in the other place on Friday.

To lie upon the Table.

Photo of Mr Mark Wolfson Mr Mark Wolfson , Sevenoaks 10:05 pm, 12th March 1997

This petition is on the same subject as the previous two. I have the honour to present it on behalf of my constituent, Mrs. Lois Hainsworth, chairman of the Bahai national women's committee and of Rev. Graham St. John-Willey, director of the Action for Children Campaign, and Mrs. Sandra Khambatta, its assistant director, the other officers of those organisations and the Bahai community in the United Kingdom. This is this first of four similar volumes that hold, in all, 10,000 signatures.

The petition states: The Humble Petition of Members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom with Action for Children Campaign and other Citizens or Residents of the United Kingdom,shewethThat we, the undersigned, hereby:express our deep concern at continuing reports that citizens of developed nations travelling abroad may be encouraging the use of children in prostitution and pornography;affirm our commitment to the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which seeks to protect children from sexual exploitation; andcall upon Her Majesty's Government to seek to play an active role in bringing about concerted international action to tackle this problem and in particular to examine ways of ensuring that individuals involved in such exploitation are brought to justice within the United Kingdom.Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your honourable House do introduce legislation to ensure that citizens of the United Kingdom who commit serious sexual offences against children abroad can be prosecuted in this country.And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.