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Minister needs to clarify position on child exploitation inquiry

1 October, 2013 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin said she is concerned that the Health Minister is backtracking on the need for an inquiry into the exploitation of children and young people.

The Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee said the minister needs to come in front of the committee and clarify what exactly is going to take place.

The Foyle MLA said:

“While I welcome the passing of the Sinn Féin motion calling for an inquiry yesterday in the Assembly I believe the minister needs to clarify what exactly is the remit of any action he is going to take.

“Is it a review, an investigation or an inquiry? Is it going to be independent and have the power to investigate?

“These are just some of the questions the minister needs to address. This is too serious a subject for concerns not to be addressed in a transparent way and for any inquiry to have some power behind it.

“We must ensure first and foremost that our young and vulnerable children and youth are not put at risk again.

“An inquiry with proper independence, powers to investigate and accountability mechanisms is required.”

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