§ Linda Perham
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to tackle child pornography on the internet. 
§ Paul Goggins
The Government are committed to tackling child pornography on the internet. We are determined to ensure that there are effective measures to combat this exploitation of children. In January 2001, we raised the maximum penalties for taking, making, distributing or showing indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children to 10 years (from three years), and the maximum penalty for simple possession of such material to five years (from six months). There are proposals in the Sexual Offences Bill currently before Parliament that these offences should apply to photographs and pseudo-photographs of children up to the age of 18.
We have made substantial investment in law enforcement to enhance the capability of the police to investigate serious and organised crime committed via computers or computer networks, such as the internet. In April 2001, the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit was established, within the National Crime Squad, to investigate or support the investigation of such serious criminal activity, including the production and distribution of child pornography.
In March 2001, the then Home Secretary established a Task Force on Child Protection on the Internet. The Task Force includes representatives from internet service and communication providers, PC and software retailers and manufacturers, child welfare organisations, the main opposition parties, law enforcement agencies and academics. The Task Force has brought forward proposals for legislation to tackle paedophile 'grooming' activity on and off-line. In addition, sub-groups of the Task Force are looking at a 1211W range of issues including the evaluation of rating and filtering systems, and the impact of 3G mobile telephones.
Officials and members of the Taskforce have also produced a single document covering separate models of good practice relating to chat services, instant messaging and web services, which was published on 6 January 2003. We consider that these models are a significant step forward in making the internet a safer place for children. We will be reviewing the models and their impact in the near future.
Internationally, the Government actively support efforts within the European Union, and more widely, to combat child pornography on the internet. In November 2001, we signed April 2001, the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit was established, within the National Crime Squad, to investigate or support the investigation of such serious criminal activity, including the production and distribution of child pornography.
§ Linda Perham
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has given to law enforcement agencies on combating child prostitution. 
§ Paul Goggins
It is a tragedy for any child to become involved in prostitution. Children involved in prostitution are primarily victims of abuse and adults who take advantage of them, whether by exploiting them as pimps or by buying sexual services from them, are child abusers.
The Government issued guidance for law enforcement agencies and other agencies working with children entitled "Safeguarding Children in Prostitution" in May 2000. This was followed by "The National Plan for Safeguarding Children from Commercial Sexual Exploitation", which was published in September 2001.
The key message of both documents is that those under 18 who engage in prostitution are almost invariably victims and must be treated as such. A further key message is that wherever possible criminal justice action should be pursued against those who abuse children through prostitution or seek to exploit them as prostitutes.
The Sexual Offences Bill currently before Parliament proposes new offences to tackle the sexual exploitation of children, which will carry severe penalties. The proposals cover the exploitative and abusive activities associated with child prostitution and the involvement of children in pornography.
The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 introduces a new offence of trafficking persons to control them in prostitution. This offence carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. The Sexual Offences Bill includes more comprehensive trafficking legislation to re-enact and replace these provisions, again carrying a maximum penalties of 14 years imprisonment. We have also developed and published a `toolkit' on victims of trafficking, which is a guide for immigration officers, police and others potentially dealing with trafficking victims. We hope that the 1212W toolkit will raise awareness of the difference between trafficking and smuggling, and help them to treat trafficking victims fairly.
§ Brian Cotter
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans his Department has to criminalise all forms of child trafficking in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Beverley Hughes
The UK is committed to tackling the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation. Our strategy on trafficking is set out in the White Paper Secure Border Safe Haven and focuses on strengthening the law through new offences covering trafficking; providing appropriate support to victims of trafficking in the UK; tackling the criminals through intelligence and enforcement operations through the Reflex taskforce; EU co-operation and prevention in source and transit countries in partnership with Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for International Development (DFID).
The new Sexual Offences Bill sets out new wide-ranging offences covering trafficking for sexual exploitation to replace the stop-gap offence of trafficking for the purpose of prostitution, introduced in the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. The offence of trafficking for sexual exploitation carries a tough maximum penalty of 14 years. In addition to this, the Bill also introduces a new offence of commercial sexual exploitation of a child, which will protect children up to 18. It covers a range of offences. including buying the sexual services of a child, (for which the penalty ranges from seven years to life depending on the age of the child); and causing, facilitating or controlling the commercial sexual exploitation of a child in prostitution or pornography, for which the maximum penalty will be 14 years imprisonment.