Skip to main content

National action plan to prevent and tackle child sexual exploitation: update

Child sexual exploitation is an often hidden form of child sexual abuse. It happens in person and online and has a devastating impact on victims and their families. No child or young person should experience abuse of any form and our aim is to eliminate child sexual exploitation in Scotland.

Preventing and tackling child sexual exploitation requires a co-ordinated, multiagency response. Universal and specialist services have important roles to play and it is vital that all practitioners have the knowledge and skills to identify exploitation and respond appropriately. This response must be underpinned by strong leadership and a clear commitment from Chief Officers and senior managers, together with a focus on developing a shared understanding of the local profile of exploitation.

Technology is playing a significant role in changing the nature of child sexual abuse. The internet and social media makes it easier to access and share images, allows perpetrators to connect and provides a sense of anonymity. This makes online child sexual exploitation an increasingly global crime and action in Scotland is set within the framework of UK and international measures.

This plan builds on the wide range of activity underway since the publication of Scotland’s first National Action Plan to Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation in November 2014 and has been developed in partnership with the Ministerial Working Group to Prevent and Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation and National Child Sexual Exploitation Working Group.