The 18th January was a busy day for child welfare matters in the House of Commons.
As Britain moves forward with plans to leave the EU, questions are now being asked about cross border agency information sharing, especially in relation to child protection.
Yesterday, ministers discussed how leaving the EU might affect Britain’s security, law enforcement and its criminal justice system. Home Affairs Committee Chair, Yvette Cooper, asked whether the government planned to try to keep its Europol membership. Europol has worked closely with the Met in order to protect children from child abuse and exploitation.
The child abuse inquiry also continues to dominate Commons’ discussions.
In another debate, Ann Clwyd MP asked if the Home Department would take steps to encourage survivors of non recent child abuse to share their experience with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. (And Ann, it is non recent rather than historic abuse, a term survivors and victims don’t care for much).
After research came to light exposing the practice of alleged abusers and convicted perpetrators of abuse personally cross examining their victims in court, the House has seen a flurry of activity on this issue.
Jess Phillips MP raised two questions this week. The first asked the Secretary Of State For Justice what plans the Department had to consult with Women’s Aid and survivors of domestic abuse on the ancillary measures needed to enforce a ban on perpetrators of domestic abuse from directly cross-examining their victims in the family court. Oliver Heald responded by saying the government was committed to addressing this issue as quickly as possible.
Jess also asked whether a timetable was in place to get this work underway – the government said it hoped to get this matter resolved soon.
Wishing everyone a good weekend,