Sex offenders and paedophiles are travelling to the world’s conflict zones to prey on vulnerable children, the National Crime Agency has warned.
Robert Jones, deputy director of the NCA’s child exploitation and online protection command, said offenders were exploiting the chaos of war and areas hit by natural disaster. He urged the aid sector to help make it as difficult as possible for individuals to commit crimes abroad.
Jones said: “The challenge of impoverished children being exploited and people going to conflict zones to identify and exploit vulnerability needs a global effort to tackle it. People will identify vulnerability in a conflict zone, or an area hit by natural disaster. It’s a trait of their character that they will almost sniff that vulnerability out and then prey on it.” His comments coincide with calls for the UN to demonstrate leadership on the issue.