icon_list_arrow--research Created with Sketch. Help us make a difference to young people’s lives. Donate to Youthscape - click here to support our work
Brand Logo
icon_list_arrow--research Created with Sketch.
Make a difference – donate to Youthscape
Casey horner 1 Ru Q7e WZF Ig unsplash

A safety manifesto for young people

Jules Loveland

16 May, 2024


With a General Election looming, Christian safeguarding charity Thirtyone:eight want to put young people’s safety at the top of the political agenda. Here’s a look at what they’re proposing – and how you can join in.


If you work with children and young people, you may already know that one in five children under 18 years has experienced some form of abuse or maltreatment. We believe all children have a right to safety wherever they are, and that’s why Thirtyone:eight exists – to work towards a world where every child and adult can feel, and be, safe. We know this is the culture you’re aiming for in your groups, clubs and activities, which is why we’re letting you know that we’re actively doing something about it.

We’re better known for our work with churches, but our vision for a safer society means we also work extensively with government across the UK. One of the challenges of working with the government is that there are four nations of the UK, and each of those nations has slightly different rules and policies. This leads to inconsistent care for the vulnerable. Being and feeling safe shouldn’t be a postcode lottery, it should be a normal part of life. We want to see politicians, charities, and faith-based organisations working together to strengthen existing laws, develop new ones, and gain momentum where policy promises have already been made, with consistency across the whole country. This is why we recently launched our very first manifesto: Together we can - a manifesto for a safer society for all.

What is a manifesto?

You might have heard the term ‘political manifesto’. This is when political parties announce their goals, and priorities in the hope they align with our values, and that we might vote for them in the next election. Our manifesto is very similar, it clearly states our priorities and how we wish the government to act on the issues we have raised.

The truth is that there are many issues we could have chosen to advocate for, but there are some key opportunities where we are already gaining momentum, such as:

  • Mandatory reporting of abuse – it is not currently a legal requirement to report abuse.
  • Closing the sex offender name change loophole – sex offenders can currently change their name, meaning they avoid detection in security checks.
  • Asking England and N. Ireland to join with Scotland and Wales in removing the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ as justification for hitting children.
  • Introducing a legal definition of grooming.
  • Widening the definition of the existing Position of Trust legislation.
  • Implementing the recommendations from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) within England and Wales

These issues and others are more fully described in the manifesto, which you can download here.

What can I do to help?

We’re hoping our manifesto inspires you to join with our asks. United together we can work towards societal reform. We need you and others who feel passionate about these issues to add their voice for the children and young people you work with. If that is something can do, you could try any of the following:

  1. Spread the word! Share our manifesto with your friends, families and communities. Help to inspire them to take action.
  2. Lend your voice. Speak or write to your local MP about any of these issues. You could even give them a copy of the manifesto to read.

If you would like to know more about the manifesto and the asks within it, you can download a copy here.

Hear about the latest Youthscape News & Resources

BACK TO TOP back to top icon