Focus on British-Pakistani men in addressing child sexual abuse has the UK government on high alert
Focus on British-Pakistani men in addressing child sexual abuse has the UK government on high alert

London: According to a Thursday report in The Guardian, the British prime minister and home secretary have been cautioned against focusing on British-Pakistani men when formulating policies to combat child sexual abuse.

More than 60 researchers and organisations opposed to child abuse, including the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, signed a letter to Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman stating that "inaccurate or divisive claims" undermined their work and actually put children's safety at risk.

The letter urged the UK government to refrain from using inaccurate, racist, and polarising language when debating the matter.

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Braverman claimed last month that "almost all" members of so-called child-grooming gangs in the UK are "British-Pakistani males" who hold "cultural values totally at odds with British values," despite Home Office statistics from 2020 showing that white males were primarily responsible for child sexual abuse crimes.

According to The Guardian, the letter was organised by Ella Cockbain, an associate professor of crime science at University College London, and Helen Beckett and Camille Warrington from the Safer Young Lives Research Centre at Bedfordshire University.

Instead of catering to "short-term media cycles," the signatories urged the government to take a "evidence-based" approach to solving the problem. They also claimed that focusing on just one group would divert attention from other dangers to children.

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"As a result, we urgently request that all politicians refrain from making partial, unreliable, or polarising claims about child sexual abuse," they stated. By doing this, efforts to ensure that policymaking is rational, equitable, and inclusive are undermined.

"Many recent political announcements and related media discussions have clearly failed in this regard, fostering misinformation, racism, and division," the statement reads.

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They continued by saying that a narrative that placed too much emphasis on young, white women who were victims of British-Pakistani men distracted from the urgent need for support for other victims, such as young boys and men, members of other minority communities, and young people with disabilities.

In response to Braverman's remarks in April, No. 10 Downing Street issued a statement claiming that "cultural sensitivity and political correctness" had failed victims.

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