Government recruits volunteers to tackle child sex abuse

The UK's first dedicated organisation focused on tackling child sex abuse is seeking young volunteers to help in its work.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, which was launched earlier this year, is seeking volunteers aged between 11 - 16 to work with them in reaching out to children and young people with vital 'safety first' messages.

Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the CEOP Centre, said: "Our aim is to eradicate child sex abuse and to recognise in particular the intrinsic link between the virtual world of the internet and the real world. That is to say that we recognise the benefits of the internet and the opportunities it opens up, but also, like any other public place, we also see the dangers it potentially hides and the reality that where children go then the child sex offender will follow.

"But adults are in many ways the visitors when it comes to the internet. Children and young people are the natives. It is now such an integral part of their everyday lives - another member of the family if you like - and we have to hold our hands up and recognise that as adults we are not always best placed to talk to our children.

"But talk to them we must. Fundamental to our work is raising awareness of the dangers amongst children and young people and to empower them to take the necessary safety steps so that they can enjoy the benefits with the freedom they deserve."

Helen Penn, CEOP's lead education co-ordinator explains the role of the new CEOP Youth Panel, said: "Peer to peer communications is vital. It is a fact that sometimes the best way to get something done is for an adult to ask a child or teenager not to do it. That is reality. Similarly, how can we design awareness tools and know that we are talking the same language as the school playground, the same terminology as young people use when they are online, or indeed covering the areas that they are using day-in-day-out.

"We can't and we shouldn't even try. That is why we are asking young people from across the UK to come forward and to work with us."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 January 2009
Consultation To End Child Poverty, Launched
The Government has today set out plans to make sure every child gets the best start in life by tackling child poverty, which can unfairly hold children back and prevent them reaching their full potential.
13 October 2003
Children to have say in Commissioner appointment
The new Children's Commissioner will be chosen with the help of children and young people, the government announced today. Margaret Hodge, Minister for Children, Young People and Families, said that children "must be involved" in choosing the Commissioner if they are to truly represent their views.
30 November 2009
Change4Life Campaign Announced
An extension of the UK Government's Change4Life campaign, which helps families 'eat well, move more and live longer', was announced by Health Secretary Andy Burnham at the Royal College of Midwives last week.
10 December 2009
Child Obesity 'Levelling Off'
New figures have suggested escalating child obesity in the UK is beginning to level off, however, rates are still too high, according to the government. The National Child Measurement Programme suggested families are benefiting from knowing the facts about their child's weight.
03 August 2009
NSPCC Calls Rise After Death Of Baby P
More people are calling the NSPCC Helpline about serious child abuse since the death of Baby Peter two years ago. Between April 2008 and March 2009, the 24-hour freephone service passed on 11,243 suspected child protection cases to police or social services - an increase of more than a third over two years.