Still a child

No matter what image a young person portrays to the world they are still a child – that’s the message to Greater Manchester communities as part of a week of action to raise awareness of child exploitation. 

It's not okay graphic

The campaign’s powerful imagery will highlight how children can be misjudged or stereotyped due to their behaviour, who they socialise with or the clothes or make-up they wear.

The message of the campaign is simple – any person under the age of 18 years of age is still a child and they are vulnerable to exploitation.

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, Bev Hughes, said: “No matter what the image a young person portrays to the outside world they are still a child – that’s the important message behind this week of action to raise awareness of exploitation. 

“There are, sadly, numerous ways in which a child might be exploited. It might include criminal exploitation or even sexual exploitation.

“Child exploitation is a despicable crime and tackling it in our city-region is an absolute priority. Police, local authorities and our other criminal justice partners are doing more to tackle this problem now than ever before, but we require the support and cooperation of the public to make this illegal behaviour a thing of the past.

“Children deserve a childhood. If you are worried about a young person or think you have spotted any of the warning signs, please immediately report your concerns to the police.”

Warning signs include:

  • Young people going missing or travelling to areas where they have no obvious links or connections
  • Unexpected, repeated or prolonged absence from school
  • Money, clothes or accessories which they are unable to account for
  • Receiving an excessive amount of texts and phone calls
  • Relationships with controlling or older individuals or groups
  • Carrying weapons
  • A significant decline in school results or performance
  • Self-harm or significant changes in emotional wellbeing – appearing withdrawn, anxious or depressed

If you suspect exploitation or you are suffering yourself, please call the police on 999 or go to the It's Not Okay website.

Date published
Monday 7 October 2019

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