Child Redress International to Give Evidence in Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will hold a week of public hearings in the Children Outside the UK investigation next week. Child Redress International (Child Redress) is one of the Core Participants taking part in the investigation.

The hearing - which will take place daily from 10.00am at the Inquiry’s hearing centre in London between February 11th and February 15th - will examine legal measures designed to protect children outside the UK from sexual abuse by those from, or with links to, England and Wales.

The Inquiry was set up in 2014 to examine how public bodies and other non-state institutions handled their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and make recommendations for change in the future.

This investigation is one of several that is being examined by the Inquiry, and comprises a number of case studies scrutinising institutional failures in connection with the abuse of children outside the UK.

The Civil Orders case study will consider the adequacy of the civil framework for the prevention of, and notification to foreign authorities of, foreign travel by individuals known to the UK authorities as posing a risk to children.

Child Redress was granted Core Participant status to take part in the Civil Orders case study on 18 May 2018. Child Redress was recognised on the basis that it is an organisation helping child victims of transnational sex crimes in Southeast Asia access remedies.

The charity works with a large number of front-line organisations in Southeast Asia seeking to address sexual exploitation of children in countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand.

Through this network Child Redress is aware of numerous British nationals and residents who have been arrested, charged, prosecuted and/or convicted of various sex offences relating to children in the last few years.

Representatives of various international organisations are expected to give evidence at the hearing; as well as the police, Home Office, National Crime Agency, Crown Prosecution Service and the British Council.

Professor Warren Binford, a trustee for Child Redress will speak regarding the charity’s concern that not enough is being done to protect children abroad from being abused by British perpetrators.

A number of high profile cases have increased awareness of the extent of the commission of child sex offences by British nationals and residents abroad, including that of Paul Gadd - also known as Gary Glitter, who was convicted of abusing young girls in Vietnam - and Richard Huckle, who was convicted of 71 counts of serious sexual assaults whilst working in Malaysia.

The hearing will also look at s72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which enables law enforcement and prosecution authorities in the UK to investigate and prosecute UK citizens for committing child sex offences abroad, and how often this extra-territorial provision is used in practice.

Professor Warren Binford said: “Child Redress hopes to provide the Inquiry with further information about the systemic abuse of children in Southeast Asia by British perpetrators and the inadequacy of the current British system to help identify and protect them. Child Redress hopes that their voices will be heard by the Inquiry and that strong recommendations will be made that prevent this abuse from happening in the first place”.

Child Redress International is being represented by Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Keina Yoshida from Doughty Street Chambers, instructed by Silvia Nicolaou Garcia and Elizabeth Smith from Simpson Millar.

The public hearings will also be streamed ‘live’ on the Inquiry’s YouTube channel and on their website. Transcripts will be available on the website a few hours after the end of each hearing.

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