A ground-breaking conference challenging perceptions around child sexual exploitation took place in Luton last week.
The Faces We Fail To See event explored issues around race, ethnicity and discrimination, and how these can impact the way we understand child sexual exploitation.
Practitioners, activists, teachers, faith leaders and representatives from a number of community groups attended the event at Challney High School for Girls, which was run by FACES – Faiths Against Child Sexual Exploitation – a Christian-Muslim partnership of faith leaders from the town.
“It has been heartening to see so many people from across Luton’s statutory services, community and faith groups come together,” said co-chair Rehana Faisal.
“We know that some of the discussions, particularly around prejudice and racism may have felt uncomfortable and challenging, but it’s vital that we open up these conversations to ensure that we are able to safeguard our childrenfrom harm.”
Workshops run by experts in the field explored the complex range of issues when it comes to safeguarding.
The key partners in FACES are Hope Church Luton, Discover Islam, Lantern, Azalea, Youthscape, Inspire FM, Luton Churches Together, Luton Sunni Council of Mosques, Luton Council of Mosques and St Mary’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation.