CE Awareness Day 18th March 2024

Please visit the National Working Group’s official awareness day website, and the National Working Groups dedicated Stop CE website with information and resources for professionals.


The National Child Exploitation Awareness Day aims to highlight  the issues surrounding CE; encouraging everyone to Think Twice, Think Abuse.

2024 marks the 10th anniversary of the National Child Exploitation Awareness Day. The 18th March aims to highlight the issues surrounding Child Exploitation; for 2024 we are encouraging everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse and adopt a zero tolerance to child exploitation. This year the NWG has introduced its Think Twice, Think Abuse campaign.

What is Child Exploitation?

Child Exploitation, or CE is a form of abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18. It encompasses all the ways by which children and young people can be exploited, including Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and criminal exploitation. The criminal exploitation of children is an issue which is gaining more of a national focus and is closely related to County Lines, and other ways children and young people are drawn into drugs related criminal activity.

Children missing from education can be especially vulnerable – this status can leave some of our young people exposed to criminals who may seek to groom them.

It is NOT OK for someone to expect you or your friends to do things you don’t want to do sexually. Listen to your instinct; if it doesn’t feel right #SaySomething:

STOP CE – Join the fight against CE (stop-ce.org)

NWG Child Exploitation Awareness Day

How you can Help

On March 18, we want the world to unite against child exploitation

There are various ways you can show your support:

1. Write a personal pledge on your hands to show support for our Helping Hands campaign. Post your photo on social media with the hashtag #HelpingHands and #CEADay24, and #Cenomorein24 to help us raise awareness of CE. Your pledge can be anything. From speaking out, to educating others. It is your promise to the victims of child exploitation (CSE).

2. Display and use campaign posters and banners. The NWG have made copies of their posters and resources available for download:

Eyes Open Campaign

CE Awareness Day is a good opportunity to highlight the Eyes Open campaign about County Lines and criminal exploitation.

What is County Lines?

County Lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in dealing illegal drugs, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line.’ The gang activity is associated with drug dealing, vulnerable people, exploitation and violence.

County Lines has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults and local communities.

Gangs will use children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money, by criminally exploiting them. They will also seek to establish a base in target locations, typically taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion – this is referred to as ‘cuckooing’.

People exploited in this way will quite often be exposed to physical, mental and sexual abuse, and in some instances will be trafficked to areas a long way from home as part of the network’s drug dealing business.

Eyes Open resource pack for schools

The following video illustrates the aim of the Eyes Open campaign.

Further information and resources can be found here: https://eyes-open.co.uk/


Catch22 are the commissioned service who lead the CE and Missing from home service in Wirral. To support CE awareness Catch22 have published a series of resources which can be downloaded below:

Catch On is a new free educational resource about Child Exploitation aimed at pupils in Years 7 and 8 (aged 11-13): https://www.catch-22.org.uk/find-services/catch-on/

CE and County Lines Support and Rescue Service

What makes a good relationship?
– looking at the factors that form a healthy relationship, whether between peers or adult and child. A useful tool for using directly with young people.

Spotting a runaway child: Children may run away from home because they are unhappy or because they are being coerced and exploited. This poster shows you how to spot signs a child may be a runaway, and how to help them.

Keeping children safe during school holidays- a guide for parents and care givers–Any extended period of unstructured time can cause friction between children and young people and those who care for them. Our CE teams share a few basic tips on how to work with children to agree strategies and keep them as safe as possible.

Child Criminal Exploitation- How do gangs recruit and coerce young people– Catch22 believe that children involved in criminality are victims first. Groomers exploit young people and force them to commit crimes. This poster outlines the pattern of exploitation we have seen in our Child Exploitation services.

Positive relationships break the CSE cycle – a poster for professionals to understand the signs of CE/CSE and how to intervene at every point.

Further resources can be found on Catch22’s poster hub:
Spot the Signs: Child Exploitation and Missing Awareness Poster Hub – Catch22 (catch-22.org.uk)

Appropriate Language Guides

Educate, speak out and encourage others to join us in the fight against Child Exploitation

Parents and Carers – It may be difficult for parents, carers and frontline professionals to differentiate between ordinary teenage behaviour and the risk of or involvement in sexual exploitation, but there are some signs that may signify that children or young people are being groomed for sexual exploitation or actually being sexually exploited: https://nwgnetwork.org/what-is-child-exploitation/help-for-parents-and-carers/


Practitioners can help empower children and parents/carers by educating them about Child Exploitation, the grooming process, the risk factors and indicators and the contact details of local and national organisations that can offer support. Practitioners can ensure that their own knowledge of Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking is up to date.

Links to WSCP training for professionals can be found at the bottom of the page.

The leisure industry – Hotels, Taxi Companies, Take-Aways, B&B’s and Retailers all have a role to play in safeguarding children and ensuring that their staff are trained to recognise the signs of Child  Exploitation and what to do if they suspect Child Exploitation by using the Community Awareness training toolkit Say Something if you See Something http://www.stop-cse.org/ssss/

Decision makers and politicians need to provide a culture in which all of the above can function and thrive and continue to play a key role in ensuring our children are safe from Child Exploitation. As a Decision maker or politician you need to ensure Your community is engaged in protecting children from Exploitation. The

The Local Government Association (LGA) has published a resource pack for Elected Members and Community Leaders:

Tackling child exploitation: resources pack | Local Government Association

Reporting Concerns

People should report any concerns to the police on 101. If on a train text British Transport Police on 61016. Otherwise contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Alternatively you can contact the Wirral Integrated Front Door on 0151 6062008 or the NSPCC for advice on 0808 800 5000

Always dial 999 if there is an immediate risk to a child.

Useful Links

WSCP Look Closer Campaign webpage

The NWG – CE Day and wider exploitation information and resources

Catch22 – Details about the Wirral Missing and Exploitation Service

For children and young people, try Zillo – a website for young people living in Wirral: https://www.zillowirral.co.uk/

For professionals, try Sandbox – a risk assessment and service directory tool for Wirral: https://www.wirralsandbox.com/

For families, try Family Toolbox – support and resources available for families: https://familytoolbox.co.uk/

The following are CE related pages on the WSCP website:
(all open in new tabs)

CE webpage for professionals

WSCP Contextual Safeguarding Page

CE webpage for parents/carers

Online Safety webpage for parents/carers

CE webpage for children and young people

Online Safety webpage for children and young people

Sexting information webpage for children and young people

WSCP Exploitation Training for Professionals

WSCP Contextual Exploitation Training for Professionals

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