HC Deb 25 June 1998 vol 314 c586W
Helen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued to local area child protection committees on addressing the needs of children involved in sexual exploitation and prostitution. [47429]

Mr. Boateng

"Working Together Under the Children Act 1989" issued in 1989 by the Department, Home Office, Department for Education and Employment and Welsh Office, provides guidance on inter-agency co-operation for the protection of children from abuse. It includes guidance to Area Child Protection Committees on their role in developing and reviewing child protection policies. Such policies would be expected to address the needs of children at risk of, or subject to, sexual exploitation.

We are aware of the growing concern about the involvement of children and young people in prostitution. We intend to issue joint Health Department/Home Office guidance in the autumn on how best to deal with the problem and meet the needs of children involved in prostitution. This guidance will take account of the responses to the Department's consultation paper "Working Together to Safeguard Children: New Government Proposals for Inter-Agency Co-operation", which, among other issues, invited views on how to address the problem of children involved in prostitution. It will also take account of the Association of Chief Police Officers' guidelines on dealing with children involved in prostitution and the new arrangements for juvenile offenders in the Crime and Disorder Bill.