North child sex abuse report to be published today

North child sex abuse report to be published today
File photo

A report on child sexual exploitation in the North is to be published today.

Former Scottish commissioner for children and young people Professor Kathleen Marshall has spent a year investigating the extent of the problem.

It followed the arrests last year of more than 30 people in a major Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) investigation into the sexual exploitation of children and young people.

At least 22 young people aged between 13 and 18 may have been targeted.

It is claimed that vulnerable young people were taken to parties organised by groups of men. They were plied with alcohol and given gifts before being assaulted.

The exploitation is thought to have taken place outside care homes.

In 2011 the Barnardos charity said one in nine teenagers were sexually exploited in the North.

Prof Marshall is a professor and solicitor who chaired an inquiry into the abuse and protection of children in care in Edinburgh in 1999.

She carried out an investigation in the North which was separate to, and much wider than, the police inquiry.

Former Stormont health minister Edwin Poots ordered her investigation.

Earlier this year a report found that at least 1,400 children were subjected to appalling sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other cities in England, beaten and intimidated, it said.

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