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Ahead of the #WeProtect Children Online summit on child sexual exploitation taking place today and tomorrow in London, Chief Executive of 4Children, Anne Longfield OBE said:
It is clear that on a local, national and even global level, the agencies which are supposed to be keeping children safe are failing to protect them.
It is welcome that the Home Secretary is hosting this summit which will bring together representatives from over 50 countries, but we must ensure that action will follow.
Technology companies have a critical role and duty in the battle against online child sexual exploitation. Leading companies are attending the summit and this must signal the start of a more proactive and co-ordinated response.
We know that crimes of this nature are more widespread than reported, which is why – on a UK scale - 4Children has called for a time limited inquiry, led by the Prime Minister, into child sexual exploitation. Recognising the scale and importance of the issue, it could ensure ongoing exploitation is addressed now and without delay.
Today’s summit is a welcome step in prioritising the protection of vulnerable children globally. But there is more we can do at home and we cannot afford to delay action any longer.”