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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, in Committee I introduced an amendment to Clause 47 which is now Clause 47(4)(a). This covers all those who, whether or not in the course of employment and regardless of the setting, provide care, assistance or services to the complainant in connection with the latter's mental
I believe that the approach in Clause 47(4)(a) is preferable to citing in legislation lists of too many different types of care because there is always the risk of inadvertently excluding groups which should have been included. It also avoids the uncertainty of having in the legislation such undefined terms as "general healthcare" and "social care".
The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving the amendment, I speak also to Amendments Nos. 148 and 153 which I have tabled on a probing basis, as the Minister is aware. We debated the amendments in Committee and I do not wish to reiterate the arguments at length. I sought to emphasise that the use of the adult terms "prostitution" and "pornography" is completely misleading for juries. Whenever a child is drawn into prostitution and pornography that child is abused. I do not believe that there is serious dispute about that in your Lordships' House. However, it has been far from clear that that was well understood in the wider world. That is why my amendment sought to insert the existence of abuse into the offences.
In Committee, the Minister said that my amendment would make it harder to gain a conviction. Of course, there is no way that these Benches would want to be associated with making it harder to bring to justice the kind of people who corrupt children through prostitution or pornography. Therefore, with the Minister and his officials I have been researching ways of indicating in the Bill that the child offences we are dealing with raise a very different set of issues from adult prostitution and adult pornography. I place on record my gratitude for the work that they have done. I am disappointed that we cannot change the titles of
Baroness Walmsley: My Lords, I support this group of amendments. It seems inappropriate to refer to young children as prostitutes. It has connotations of culpability which are completely inappropriate when we are dealing with children who are being abused. I support the spirit of the amendments even if, technically, they are not quite right. I hope that the Minister will help us out.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, as I have indicated privately and publicly, I am sympathetic to the concerns which prompted these amendments to make it clear that child prostitution or child pornography would always be abusive to those involved. As the noble Baroness, Lady Noakes, rightly said, I think that we are all agreed that we do not want to do it in such a way that it makes it harder to prove the offence.
I believe that there is a way to reflect the House's concern. It can be achieved by changing the italic titles of the relevant sections of the Bill to reflect the view that these offences are concerned with abuse of children. That requires separating out the clauses dealing specifically with child victims from those dealing with prostitution generally.
Currently Clauses 52 to 59 are grouped under an italic heading of "Prostitution and child pornography". Government Amendments Nos. 147 and 152 rearrange the clauses so that Clauses 54 and 56 will now follow the interpretation clause at Clause 58. Government Amendments Nos. 155 and 158 make minor drafting changes to the interpretation of Clause 58 to make clear that it relates specifically to the child-specific offences that now precede itthat is Clauses 52, 53, 55 and 57. Should the House accept those amendments to regroup the clauses in that way, the italic title preceding Clause 52 will be changed to "Abuse of children through prostitution and pornography". That will be included in the print of the Bill prepared for Third Reading. I am advised that the italic title cannot be changed by way of amendment, but the changes that I have just outlined will be made by the Public Bill Office.
Clauses 54 and 56 by virtue of government Amendments Nos. 147 and 152 would then fall after Clause 58. They, along with the new interpretation clause, introduced by government Amendment No. 159 which will follow and explain the now relocated Clauses 54 and 56, form a new group relating to exploitation of prostitution, and the Public Bill Office will introduce a new italic title of "Exploitation of
Baroness Noakes: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply and I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, for her support. I apologise to the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, if my probing amendment inadvertently removed words. That was not the intention. As it was a probing amendment no harm has been done. I have said that I am grateful for the Minister and his officials taking our concerns seriously. We have a result which moves a considerable way towards meeting those concerns. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.
All of the amendments delete the requirement to prove gain or expectation of gain as a component of the various offences covered by prostitution, child pornography and trafficking. I shall speak first to those amendments on which we have persuaded the Government of the merits of our arguments. Amendment No. 145 relates to the Clause 53 offence of causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography, Amendment No. 149 relates to the Clause 55 offence of controlling a child prostitute or a child involved in pornography, Amendment No. 154 deals with the Clause 57 offence of arranging or facilitating child prostitution or pornography, and Amendment No. 156 is consequential. We are delighted that the Government have agreed to delete the requirement for gain for the offences. Proving gain was inappropriate. We are similarly delighted that the Government have agreed with us on Amendments Nos. 160, 161, 162 and 163 which delete the requirement to prove gain from the trafficking offences in Clauses 60 to 63.
That leaves my Amendments Nos. 146 and 151. They seek to remove the need to prove gain from the adult prostitution offences in Clauses 54 and 56. Many of us who spoke at Committee were convinced that the formulation of the offences in Clauses 54 and 56 was wide of the mark. They do not focus on the real ills surrounding prostitution which are not about making money from it but are about the use of force and coercion. I have tabled the amendments as probing amendments so that I have an opportunity to raise again the issue of the review of the law of prostitution that the Government have promised. In Committee the Minister said:
Lord Hylton: My Lords, before the Minister replies, I want to say how delighted I am that the Government are supporting several of the amendments. I hope that that will lead to more successful prosecutions.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: My Lords, this group of amendments deals with the removal of "gain" from the prostitution, child pornography and trafficking offences. There is also Amendment No. 157, tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, amending the scope of "goodwill" within the definition of gain. I cannot talk to that again, so if the noble Lord wishes to speak to the amendment he should do so now or forever hold his peace.
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