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Our Manifesto sets out Thirtyone:eight’s areas of interest and activity in relation to legislative and policy change across the UK.

Download a copy of the manifesto

In it we have identified a number of key opportunities that exist to improve policy, legislation, and guidance. As the legal responsibility for these are split between the UK Government and the devolved administrations we’ve grouped our Manifesto into four regional sections.

We’ve developed our recommendations by drawing on published evidence and our own research to inform our calls for action. Our asks span a wide range of areas which we have structured under three common themes:

1. Strengthen the safeguards in place for children and adults

This theme is all about the preventative actions that can be taken to protect people from harm. It’s all about tightening-up the preventions and the penalties and stopping perpetrators of abuse from getting access to children and vulnerable groups. It’s about increasing the protections in place for children and vulnerable adults at risk of harm from adult workers in positions or trust, and it’s about further strengthening the vetting, checking and barring process to make it even more effective.

Opportunities include:

  • Introducing a statutory definition of grooming across all four nations
  • Closing the loopholes that allow convicted Sex Offenders to change name and avoid detection
  • Widening the scope of existing Position of Trust legislation to protect more people
  • Reforming the Access NI vetting and barring scheme in Northern Ireland

2. Better protect victims and survivors

This theme is all about supporting victims and survivors of abuse and considers how we offer better protections to those with lived experience of harm. Reporting cases of known and suspected abuse should be made mandatory across all the UK. There should be no excuses, no cover-ups. It’s also about removing the defence of reasonable chastisement or punishment for those who harm children, and about helping survivors of abuse to have their voices heard.

Opportunities include:

  • Introducing robust mandatory reporting across all four nations
  • Removing the defence for reasonable chastisement/punishment of children in England and Northern Ireland
  • Reviewing laws in Northern Ireland which prevent victims of sexual abuse naming or identifying their alleged abuser in the public domain.

3. Create safer environments for all

This theme is about being proactive in our efforts to create safer environments for all. There are several significant opportunities that exist here to create policy and develop legislation that supports a safer society. A key focus across all four nations is making the online environment safer for all through the Online Safety Act 2023. It’s also about making active efforts which support the recommendations of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in England and Wales, and existing commitments to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Opportunities include:

  • Implementing the Online Safety Act 2023
  • Embedding the principles of the UNCRC across all four nations
  • Implementing the recommendations from IICSA within England and Wales

A safer society for all

Working across these three themes we seek to engage parliamentarians from across all four UK parliaments along with other like-minded organisations and individuals to advocate for change. The current opportunities listed in this manifesto provide a chance to take real and practical steps that will offer greater protections and contribute to a safer society for all.

Download a copy of the manifesto

If you have any questions about our Manifesto or would like to work with us to endorse any of our recommendations, please contact us:

Leigh McFarlane, Public Policy & Research Manager

[email protected]

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