Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, is working to improve the protection of children and teenagers from exploitation by sexual predators.
Ms Mikakos led a roundtable discussion today that included Victoria Police, child protection workers, community sector leaders, Centre for Sexual Assault and academics.
Ms Mikakos acknowledged the partnerships that have been established between Victoria Police and child protection agencies, but said more needed to be done to safeguard our children and young people.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse this month heard evidence that child sexual exploitation is a nationwide and international problem that must be addressed.
The Andrews Labor Government will not tolerate child abuse. We are working with Victoria Police, child protection workers and community service providers to disrupt and prosecute offenders.
Ms Mikakos initiated today’s roundtable to discuss further ways of preventing and responding to instances of child sexual exploitation and to look at improvements to policy and practice.
The discussion builds on the work being done by the recently established Ministerial Advisory Committee on Out-Of-Home Care.
Any young person can be at risk of sexual exploitation but children living in out-of-home care are often particularly vulnerable due to their histories of trauma and abuse.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos
“We have a zero-tolerance approach to child sex exploitation. Vulnerable children must be protected from predators and offenders must be prosecuted.”
“Just as sex predators are becoming more cunning, so must those whose job it is to keep children and young people safe.”
“Sexual exploitation of children is a terrible crime and a gross violation of a child’s basic right to grow up safe.”
“The roundtable discussion today is part of a range of strategies the Andrews Labor Government is quickly implementing to address the grave issues of abuse and sexual exploitation of children.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020