The Church of England’s Lead Bishop for Children and Families is supporting moves in the House of Lords today to introduce legal protections for children from being used in undercover operations by police and other authorities.

The Bishop of Durham, Paul Butler, is backing cross-party amendments to the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill which is currently before the Lords for report stage.

Bishop Paul is sponsoring an amendment alongside Baroness Massey, Lord Dubs and Lord Cormack which would prohibit the authorisation of criminal conduct by children without specific prior judicial approval.

He will also support an amendment from Baroness Kidron, Baroness Hamwee, Lord Kennedy of Southwark and Lord Young of Cookham which would provide further legal protections for under 18s.

Bishop Paul said: “Children of all ages deserve to be protected.  Ideally no one under 18 should ever be used for covert intelligence but if they must be then it must be extremely rare and with thorough legal protections in place.”


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