HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 c873W
Angus Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his counterpart from the Gambia concerning child prostitution and sex tourism; and if he will make a statement. [173458]

Mr. Mullin

The issue of child prostitution and sex tourism in The Gambia is a matter of increasing concern. Our High Commissioner has discussed the problem with the Ministers of Tourism and the Interior, and maintains close contact with senior police and immigration officials on these issues.

He is also in close contact with UNICEF locally. With the active participation of the Government of The Gambia. UNICEF launched a report on 5 May 2004 on the sexual abuse of children. This made several recommendations including the need to raise public awareness and make legislative reform. UNICEF is working with the authorities and local Non Governmental Organisations to draw up an action plan to take forward these recommendations.

Our High Commission in Banjul actively supports the Child Protection Alliance in The Gambia by funding several projects.

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