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Bitter Sweet Sixteen: UK Vetting Laws

London, United Kingdom, December 13, 2009 --( The education charity WORLDwrite and its online news channel WORLDbytes have released a filmed report entitled Bitter Sweet Sixteen attacking government plans to expand CRB checks to under 18s.

The report focuses on the concerns of sixteen year old WORLDwrite volunteer Adelah Bilal. As soon as Adelah celebrated her sixteenth birthday she notes: “It was as if the government was telling me that, as I was entering adulthood, I had gone from being a child to a potential paedophile”. Now she will need to be vetted before she can continue to look after her little brother and his friends in the playground or volunteer in her local community.

The report is particularly timely following the publication of the Manifesto Club report Vetting Under-18s: An Education in Mistrust and the imminent publication (due next week) of the review of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, requested by Children’s Minister Ed Balls following controversy earlier in the year.

Adelah said today: “Making this report was important because my generation is growing up without the capacity to develop our own judgement about who to trust. I hope it will open people’s eyes to the realities of the vetting system, and make them realise that it’s not a “necessary evil”, or just an impractical, bureaucratic process, but worse than that.”

Josie Appleton of the Manifesto Club, interviewed by Adelah in the report, says of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, which comes into force in July 2010: “It says it wants to protect children, it actually makes them more vulnerable. It says it wants to build communities, it actually breaks them down. The effects of vetting are perverse.”

The programme Bitter Sweet Sixteen is available to watch at

Contact Information
Ceri Dingle
For more information and interviews contact:
Viv Regan
Tel: +44 (0)7939 449 604 or +44 (0)20 8985 5435

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