As one of the first steps of the project, on the 18th April 2019, we organised a launch of the Research Mapping Report amongst High Commissioners of several Commonwealth member states and other organisations, to be hosted by the Cypriot High Commission.
Building from a mapping report produced by It’s a Penalty to determine the extent of extraterritorial legislation against child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) within the Commonwealth, The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) and It’s a Penalty convened High Commissioners to discuss the issue of transnational child exploitation in the Commonwealth. The discussion was co-chaired by Sarah de Carvalho (It’s a Penalty) and Dr Greg Munro (RCS).
Key points raised as a result of the Roundtable Launch include:
The clear importance of working on child rights advocacy, safeguarding and child empowerment but also the need to advocate, raise awareness and take action with corporates, civil society and government.
The significant role sport can play in advocating for positive change using opportunities such as the Commonwealth Games to raise awareness.
As well as legislative changes, there also needs to be action on addressing underlying causes of CSEA such as poverty and modern day slavery.
The creation of model legislation/a toolkit would be of great assistance to lower capacity states and ease the introduction of extraterritorial legislation against CSEA.
Several Commonwealth states without sufficient extraterritorial legislation recognised that they had work to do but that this was an issue for many smaller states due to the lack of capacity.
The importance of education and the need to keep educating. In this vein a toolkit for schools, teachers, parents, ministers etc. was also recommended.
The need to collaborate in order to achieve long-lasting change across the Commonwealth and the world.