HC Deb 13 July 1994 vol 246 c979
12. Mrs. Golding

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent talks he has had with other Governments about international paedophile rings.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

We take every opportunity in all international forums to urge action against child prostitution.

Mrs. Golding

I thank the Minister for that reply. Will he consider having talks with the Sri Lankan Government, who are taking strong measures to combat paedophile rings? For example, they have established a Cabinet sub-committee and set up a separate unit in every police department, the tourist board is closely supervising hotels and guest houses, and the Government are carrying out a public awareness programme as well as conveying strongly to foreigners the message that they will not tolerate the exploitation of children. Does the Minister think that other Governments could learn from that? If so, what could his Department do to co-ordinate a campaign against that vile practice?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

As the hon. Lady knows, I have myself been in touch with the Sri Lankan high commissioner on all these matters. I can tell her that there is a great deal of police co-operation between Britain, Sri Lanka and other countries. The national crime intelligence service has a paedophile unit which gathers information on known British rings and liaises with its counterparts in the region of which the hon. Lady speaks. British officers take an active part in the work of Interpol in dealing with offences against minors. Interpol provides a useful focus for international police co-operation in the area.

Mr. Dickens

Does my hon. Friend agree that the time of kid glove action is over and that we must go for a mailed fist result? We must really go after the perverts—the evil people who prey on the bodies of children in an unnatural way. Would my hon. Friend consider discussing with people overseas and our Home Office whether, on a second conviction, castration might be a very suitable approach? One would be surprised to see how few people would need to be castrated to stop this evil practice against children—and I would do the same for those who rape women.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I do not think that my hon. Friend's suggestion is a matter for the Foreign Office.

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