In February 2019, the Inquiry heard evidence about legal measures designed to protect children outside the UK from sexual abuse by those with links to England and Wales. Contributions were made by various international organisations, as well as the police, Home Office, National Crime Agency and British Council. It had been planned to publish a report in to this second phase of the Children Overseas investigation in autumn 2019 but due to the General Election that has now been delayed until 9 January 2020.
Although IICSA’s terms of reference are focused on England & Wales the Inquiry considered that it was necessary to consider children overseas by reference to two cases studies. The first focused on child migration, a report in connection with which was published in March 2018. As a result of recommendations made in that report the Government earlier this year established a redress scheme for child migrants.
The second case study has considered the adequacy of the civil framework for the prevention of, and notification to foreign authorities of, foreign travel by individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children. This framework includes the powers to make Foreign Travel Orders (FTOs) and Risk of Sexual Harm Orders (RSHOs) that were set out in the Sexual Offences Act 2003; as well as Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPOs) and Sexual Risk Orders (SROs) provided for by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It has also considered issues relating to the use and efficacy of section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003; and, issues related to the statutory vetting and barring regime.
Written by Paula Jefferson, partner and head of abuse and neglect at BLM.