Whatever business or organisation you work in, or community network that you are part of, everyone has a responsibility to help protect children from child exploitation.Abusers often make use of certain businesses and premises when carrying out child exploitation. For example, they:
- use places where people socialise and relax to befriend and 'groom' victims
- buy their victims treats such as food, alcohol, cigarettes or gifts
- help their victims gain access to over-18 establishments and parties
- frequent venues known to be regularly visited by young people, e.g. shopping centres, entertainment complexes and fast food outlets
- take advantage of young people drinking alcohol (underage), whose judgement is impaired
- provide victims with free transport, using taxis
- use their place of work to groom young people - for example by giving them free or 'VIP' access
- groom victims left unsupervised in areas such as toilets, entertainment booths, beer gardens or play zones
- use information technology to record and distribute images of children and young people
- use those venues that provide private areas or overnight accommodation to take advantage of vulnerable victims
There are things you can do to help:
- Learn what child exploitation is
- Recognise the signs
- Make sure your staff are trained to understand what child exploitation is, how to recognise the signs and who to contact to report concerns
- Understand how the abusers could try to exploit your business or service by reading our child exploitation information guide for people working in licensed premises
- Raise awareness of child exploitation via your venue, social media and other communications channels to highlight the issue and pledge your commitment in joining us to eradicate child exploitation. Resources will be also be added on this very page soon.
- If you see something that’s not right, report it.
Watch the video below to understand how child exploitation can take place in your premises.
Supporting youA Barnardo's Training and Outreach Worker is available to support communities to raise awareness of exploitation and help prevent it from occurring, including how to respond quickly when concerns are identified.
We offer training to community groups and businesses across a whole range of settings and attend lots of conferences and local community events in Warwickshire as part of our outreach programme to raise the profile of our campaign to eradicate child exploitation.
If you would like to enquire about support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The licensing trade is an industry where exploitation can often occur. Abusers may take young people to venues such as restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels to facilitate their exploitation. It is therefore imperative that license-holders and those who work in licensed premises have a clear understanding of the warning signs and indicators of exploitation, as well as an awareness of their responsibility to share concerns if they see something that’s not right. We deliver free training to the licensing industry to promote recognising and responding to child exploitation. If you would like to more information on this training please contact Barnardo's here.
If your business operates under a licence, your licence is at risk if you do not take action to protect children. The law states that as a licence-holder and/or supervisor you have a legal responsibility to ensure that children are protected from physical, psychological and moral harm at your venue. If you allow under-18s into your premises you must have robust systems in place to ensure that you are safeguarding them and that you have used 'due diligence' to manage the risk of child exploitation within your venue.
Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility and working collaboratively, with licensed businesses, helps protect young people from becoming victims of exploitation.
For further guidance, view our child exploitation information guide for people working in licensed premises.
Child exploitation could be happening where you work. It is child abuse and a crime. It can happen in all communities and in many different places, including your hotel.
By law, premises licence holders and supervisors have to make sure that children are protected from physical, psychological and moral harm at their premises.
Unfortunately, perpetrators aren’t always easy to spot. But, you can help by being vigilant and knowing what to look out for:
- A lot of visitors to and from one room, including adults or young people
- Young people with adults where there is no obvious appropriate relationship, something doesn’t feel right or other signs are present
- Parties in rooms
- Evidence of drugs, alcohol, sexual activity such as condom wrappers and lubricants
- Guests insisting on paying cash
- Young people loitering in the lobby area or hallways
- Guests refusing to provide ID
- Young boys and girls looking scared, withdrawn, being spoken to in an inappropriately sexual or aggressive manner
- Guests who appear to be secretive about their stay or who try to conceal their activities in their room
- Young boys and girls in possession of or under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Guests who request to be close to fire exits or take a particular interest in their location
Exploited children and young people are often moved around locations to facilitate their abuse and perpetrators make use of taxi services. You may be transporting a child that is being taken to a place to be exploited. You may see young people or groups of men being dropped off at different locations. If you think that something's not right, it is important that you do not keep any concerns to yourself. Please report it.