Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is child abuse. The sexual exploitation of children occurs in all our communities both nationally and locally and any child can become a victim. National reports, inquires, research and media coverage have highlighted that those who seek to facilitate and / or perpetrate CSE also live in, work in and visit all our communities and that they use a variety of grooming techniques, locations and premises to create opportunities in which they can sexually exploit children. Certain businesses and locations are vulnerable to being utilised and these include licences premises, hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments. The Hospitality trade is therefore a key partner in helping to tackle child sexual exploitation effectively in our city.

Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership and the Leeds Safeguarding Police team have developed this information in line with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives’ (ACTE) Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, to support the hospitality trade in Leeds to protect their businesses and safeguard children and young people from Child Sexual Exploitation.

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives’ (ACTE) Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism was launched in April 2013 to raise the awareness of CSE in the industry and support appropriate safeguarding practice.

The principles of the code are:

  • Establish policies and procedures to prevent sexual exploitation of children.
  • Train employees/members in the prevention of sexual exploitation and how to report suspected cases.
  • Enforce a zero tolerance policy of sexual exploitation of children.
  • Support, collaborate and engage stakeholders in the prevention of sexual exploitation of children.
  • Report annually on implementation of Code-related activities.

What is Child Sexual Exploitation?

Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse.

It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator.

The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology

Department for Education 2017 Child Sexual Exploitation

What is Trafficking?

Children and young people who are victims of sexual exploitation are also vulnerable to trafficking across cities and counties within the UK, and international trafficking into and out of the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Trafficking involves the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Trafficking within the UK applies irrespective of distance travelled and therefore can apply to movements within the same town, city or rural area.

Section 59A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (SOA) specifies that trafficking within the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation is an offence punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery is a serious crime that violates human rights and affects the communities that we live in. It shatters the lives and families of men, women and children, resulting in generational cycles of crisis, hardship and loss. Victims of slavery are forced, threatened or manipulated into situations of subjugation, degradation and control which undermine their personal identity and sense of self. If they are able to escape or leave the control of their exploiters victims are still in situations of vulnerability, and remain at risk from re-trafficking, exploitation and further harm.

The 2015 Modern Slavery Act requires companies whose turnover exceeds 36 million pounds ($46 million) to produce an annual statement outlining the actions they have taken to identify and root out slavery from their operations.  Modern slavery poses a triple threat to the hospitality industry, insiders say, from people sex trafficked in hotel rooms to goods made via global supply chains that are tainted by forced labour and sub-contracted workers at risk of abuse.  The UK Government has worked closely with businesses to share expertise, provide guidance on effective reporting and promote responsible practices.

The Shiva Foundation is a corporate foundation that aims to tackle and prevent human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK, by facilitating a more collaborative and systemic approach to making change.  It provides a blueprint for tackling modern slavery with resources free to download:

Stop Slavery Hotel Industry Network brings together representatives from across the hotel industry to combat human trafficking and modern slavery within the sector. Its ethos stems from the acknowledgement that actors across the industry, whether international brands, bespoke hotel groups, independent owners, managers or employee agencies are all responsible for combating this horrific crime.  The website provides learning resources for modern slavery measures for business. 

The Staff Wanted Initiative works to raise awareness of exploitative practices, and to improve the recruitment and employment of staff in the UK hospitality industry.

New developments: A number of large operators in the Hotel and Hospitality sector met, at the invitation of the GLAA and Shiva Foundation, to discuss whether a protocol should be established for the sector. Over 20 different organisations were represented, such as Marriott, Hilton and Village Hotels. There was unanimous support for the proposal and work is now underway to produce a first draft of a hospitality protocol, to encourage standardisation of approach across the sector.


Why do Hotel Managers need to know about CSE?

There are a number of criminal offences associated with child sexual exploitation and human trafficking which could have damaging consequences for a hospitality business, including a possibility of prosecution, action being taken against a premises licence and reputational and or financial damage.

It is the responsibility of premises license holders and their managers to make sure that suitable control measures are in place at licensed venues for the protection of children from harm. This is a legal requirement under the Licensing Act 2003 and there are legal implications if you do not have safeguards in place or fail to act if sexual exploitation of children occurs, or is believed to have occurred, on your premises.

Under Section 116 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 the Police have powers to serve a notice on a hotel owner, operator or manager requiring guest information in connection with child exploitation. This notice can be served when an officer reasonably believes a hotel premises has been or will be used for the purposes of:

(a) child sexual exploitation, or

(b) conduct that is preparatory to, or otherwise connected with, child sexual exploitation.

Section 116 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014:

A police officer of the rank of inspector may issue a notice to the owner, operator or manager of a hotel that the officer reasonably believes has been or will be used for the purpose of child sexual exploitation or behaviour which is prepartory or connected with child sexual exploitation

What actions are required to protect the business?

You should accurately record the details of anyone staying within your establishment.

Our recommendations to you are to record:

  • Name, address, telephone number and date of birth
  • Check and record a copy of photo identification of guests
  • Keep these records accurately and up-to-date should the Police request them in future

What happens if you are not able to provide accurate records?

If it’s proven that you have not provided accurate records to the Police upon their request then you may be prosecuted by the courts and issued with a fine not exceeding £2500.

It is the responsibility of premises owners and their managers to make sure that suitable control measures are in place for the protection of children from harm. This is a legal requirement under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

If you have concerns about a young person in the Hotel:

If a young person appears withdrawn, afraid, frightened, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, under the control or instruction of another;

  • Ask if they are ok
  • Don’t serve them any alcohol or allow anyone to buy them another drink
  • Check that they are not receiving unwanted attention
  • Check whether they know who they are with and if they feel safe being / leaving with them
  • Offer to call a licensed taxi for them
  • Offer to call a parent /carer.
  • Check whether a medical intervention is required
  • Ask CCTV to monitor them
  • Make sure any person you are unsure of, knows you have seen their face
  • Record any observations that concern you in your incident logs
  • Take note of and the number plates of vehicles of concern.

Provide a written record of your concerns and descriptions of individuals to your Hotel Manager or the Police as

Next Steps:

Ensure your Manager is aware of the situation and agree the appropriate and relevant actions to take according to your Hotel safeguarding policy eg;

  1. Download and secure any CCTV
  2. Report any relevant registration number plates
  3. Document detailed descriptions of any suspected offenders
  4. Document detailed descriptions of the children and young people for who there are concerns about
  5. Identify methods of payments i.e. cash/credit/debit cards
  6. Secure any information regarding key card usage for the rooms
  7. Secure any information regarding items left behind
  8. Secure the hotel room (s) until police arrive
  9. Call the Police non-emergency number 101 or in an emergency 999
  10. Have a Manager meet Police officers on their arrival.

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