Instead of protecting our young from the evils of sexual exploitation, we are blaming them for it. No wonder an MP’s campaign to remove the term ‘child prostitution’ from the statute book is struggling to gain traction.
Ann Coffey is trying hard. She’s the Labour MP for Stockport whose report on child sexual exploitation, Real Voices, shone a light on the depths of the problem. Removing ‘child prostitution’ from legislation was just one of its many recommendations; she’ll be pushing for it in amendments to the serious crime bill going through parliament this winter.
"There is no such thing as a child prostitute," she told MPs earlier this week. "Only a sexually abused or exploited child." The term ‘prostitute’ implies an element of complicity, a consensual contract between two equal parties. Coffey doesn’t like it one bit. Neither does the minister, Karen Bradley, who said in her response:
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"I want to be absolutely clear that children who are sexually exploited, whether for commercial