Offences against Children

Home Office written question – answered on 14th January 2021.

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Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether in compiling their report Group based child sexual exploitation characteristics of offending, published on 15 December, they or the External Reference Group received evidence on the use of Islamic teachings for the justification of sexual exploitation; and if any such evidence was received, what that evidence was.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

Political or cultural sensitivities must not deter national and local agencies from uncovering and preventing these devastating crimes.

The paper published on 15 December 2020 sets out that child sexual exploitation is not exclusive to any single culture, community, race or religion. It happens in all areas of the country and can take many different forms.

Whilst developing this paper, officials and members of the External Reference Group considered evidence from a range of sources, including academic research, official statistics and published work by organisations working in the child sexual exploitation area, as well as a series of interviews with police officers and safeguarding officers involved in investigating this type of offending. The paper was published alongside a literature review, which provides an overview of evidence from recent research on group-based child sexual exploitation in the community.

While the External Reference Group considered and discussed the available evidence for the cultural drivers of offending as well as the use of cultural factors as a justification for offending, this evidence did not make specific reference to Islamic teaching.

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