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Research from Girlguiding finds that too many girls and young women are ready to accept controlling behaviour, which can be harder to handle when online communications are involved. Online safety is also the subject of new analysis by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) which notes a worrying trend in children self-harming or taking their own lives as a result of online sexual abuse or exploitation. Actions to tackle sexual exploitation of children and young people have been outlined in the government’s response to an inquiry by the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) on child sexual exploitation and localised grooming and MPs have also recently taken part a general debate on child protection in the UK, calling for an overarching public inquiry into child abuse.
Victims of child trafficking are being let down by system failures according to a report by the Refugee Council and the Children’s Society, which also highlights the role of youth workers in supporting young people at risk of or affected by trafficking. To coincide with this report, a risk assessment toolkit for practitioners has been launched by the Children’s Society and the National Working Group. Trafficking is an issue of concern for looked after children and new figures from the DfE show that 30% of children in residential care live outside their local authority and more than 20 miles from home. Statistics released in September also report that almost 4,000 children in care were adopted in 2012, an increase of 15 per cent compared to the previous year.