Term 'child prostitution' removed from Government publications


The term "child prostitution" is being removed from official statistics over concerns it is an outdated phrase that encourages "victim-blaming".

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

But the Office for National Statistics (ONS) had continued to use the term in its latest release on crime figures.

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.

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".

She said the term "child prostitution" had been removed from legislation, but had not been changed in ONS data due to a "communication breakdown".

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."