Institutions here have to enrol with ICPC

India is no stranger to foreign child sex offenders setting up camp and continuing their cases of abuse. In recent history, a rough recollection points to over eight U.K. nationals, not to mention those from other countries, charged with sexually abusing Indian children.

Here is now a means by which you can ensure U.K. child sex offenders do not abuse children overseas. All that institutions here have to do is to enrol with the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC).

This new weapon, launched by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOPC), facilitates combating the threat from U.K. sex offenders travelling to other countries and gaining access to children through various means, including schools, and volunteering jobs. Schools and other institutions that wish to prevent harm to children under their care can apply online at www.acro.police.uk/icpc

ICPC is a police check for U.K. nationals who travel and work overseas. It will help identify and screen out those who have previous convictions that make them unsuitable to work with children.

According to information up on the CEOPC website, an analysis in 2011 found that one in five offenders was associated with roles that involved access to children.

“Teaching and schools-related positions were the most represented occupations or voluntary roles associated with cases of offending overseas,” it says.

The idea behind launching such a service is to provide to overseas institutions the same level of police checks available to organisations in the U.K.

The ICPC will allow them to access the criminal conviction history of U.K. citizens, and those who have resided in the U.K. for any period of time.

This can form the basis for assessing an applicant’s suitability for the post.

10 days to process

“The certificate, which takes approximately 10 days to process, can be applied for from anywhere in the world and will help to ensure that working abroad is not seen as an ‘easy option’ for those who are not suitable to work with children in the U.K. but who may otherwise seek to travel overseas to abuse children,” the website says.

Several nations, including the United States, U.K. and Australia publish online a list of child sex offenders convicted and their current status. The ICPC takes it a step further.

Vidya Reddy of TULIR — Centre for Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse, has said the ICPC certainly goes a long way as a preventive measure but it will have to be met halfway by institutions in this country.

There has to be understanding of the threat posed by travelling sex offenders from this end as well, she noted. A large number of schools and NGOs that encourage foreign volunteers to intern or work with them must involve themselves proactively to screen candidates.

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