||<table><tbody><tr><td><p>We have interpreted ‘sexual exploitation of children’ as
child sexual abuse offences, as sexual exploitation of children is not specifically
defined in legislation. The Ministry of Justice has published information (<a href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/804510/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2018.xlsx"
on the number of defendants found guilty of child sexual abuse offences and average
custodial sentence lengths, however it is not possible to identify the nationality
of the defendant as this information is not held in the courts proceedings database.
Additionally, centrally held court and prisons data does not distinguish online child
sexual abuse offences from all child sexual abuse offences. Information on offences
that involve online sexual exploitation of children may be held on record, however
to identify these records would be at a disproportionate cost. I have made no assessment
of sentencing for offences relating to the online sexual exploitation of children.
Sentencing in individual cases is a matter for the Courts, who must follow any relevant
guidelines produced by the Sentencing Council for England and Wales. The Sentencing
Council has a duty under section 128 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 to monitor
the operation and effect of its guidelines. Child sexual abuse is abhorrent and rightly
carries tough sentences including life imprisonment for the most serious offences.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 provides a range of offences with robust sentences to
tackle the scourge of child sexual exploitation in all its forms. Sentencing is a
matter for the independent judiciary, who take into account the full facts of each