Law ‘fails’ child prostitutes and runaways

The law in Scotland is failing child prostitutes and young
runaways, according to children’s charity Barnardo’s,
writes Nicola Barry.

The organisation has expressed concern following publication of
a Scottish executive report into child prostitutes and

Douglas Hamilton, policy and research officer for
Barnardo’s, said vulnerable children are being trapped into
prostitution, coerced, beaten and abused, after finding themselves
with no protection.

“Their childhoods have been stolen,” he said, “Yet the law does
little or nothing to protect them.”

The report, from a Scottish executive appointed working group,
calls for interviews with young runaways to establish why they left
home in the first place. It also demands a greater focus on legal
action against the abusers and a better support system for the

The interim report will now goes out for further consultation
until 24 March. The working group included executive officials,
children’s charities, police chiefs, the children’s panel chairs’
group, the Crown Office and social workers.

Copies of the interim report available

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