Child Sexual Exploitation Cases Prompt End Of 'Child Prostitution' Term Being Used In National Statistics

The term "child prostitution" is being removed from official statistics over concerns it it encourages "victim-blaming" in the wake of high-profile child sex exploitation scandals.

The term has already been removed from legislation after a series of such scandals highlighted the extent of child grooming in Britain.

But the Office for National Statistics (ONS) had continued to use the term in its latest release on crime figures, despite the term being removed from legislation, after a "communication breakdown", The Press Association reports.

Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham and the shadow minister for preventing abuse and domestic violence, wrote to the Government urging it to change the terminology.

She said the term was wrong because it infers criminality on the part on the child, and does not acknowledge that children cannot consent to sex themselves, but are instead exploited.

Sarah Champion, whose Rotherham constituency had a child sexual exploitation scandal, urged the change in terminology

Karen Bradley, Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime, wrote back saying she is in "complete agreement" that the "language used in relation to these awful crimes must reflect their true nature".

Releases from January this year and October last year have been amended and the ONS has confirmed that the old term would be removed from all future publications.

Ms Champion said: "I am very pleased that the Government and the Office for National Statistics agree with me that the use of the term 'child prostitution' is wrong and greatly misrepresents such a sensitive issue.

"It is essential in moving forward and tackling all forms of child abuse that we address the misuse of language and treat all victims and survivors with the dignity that they deserve.

"Victim-blaming has been a barrier to justice for many; this change is another step in the right direction."