POWERFUL drama performances and workshops will be held in secondary schools across Tameside to raise awareness of criminal child exploitation.
The sessions form part the wider Greater Manchester Exploitation Week of Action, running from 7 to 13 October, which aims to highlight that no matter what a young person looks like – how old or streetwise they might seem – they are still a child and vulnerable.
It brings together both the It’s Not Okay child sexual exploitation and Trapped criminal exploitation campaigns, which form part of programme Challenger – a Greater Manchester partnership of police, local authorities, criminal justice agencies and the third sector who work together to tackle and raise awareness of criminal exploitation and how to report it.
Tameside Community Safety Partnership has commissioned Odd Arts Theatre Company to deliver the performances and workshops to secondary age pupils. They will explore what child criminal exploitation is and how it does not discriminate as well as how students could prevent it happening to them and how they could help someone in need.
Training sessions have also been held with professionals who work with children across the borough to help them spot the signs of exploitation.
The #StillaChild week of action will promote images highlighting how children can be misjudged or stereotyped due to their behaviour, who they socialise with or the clothes or make-up they wear. The message is simple – any person under the age of 18 years of age is still a child and they are vulnerable to exploitation.