Write to your local MP to tell them to support Amendment 4

26 Jan 2021

As you may know, Just for Kids Law have been working on gaining cross-party support for amendments to the highly controversial Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill which seek to provide additional safeguards for children and vulnerable people being used as spies by the police and other public agencies. 

Tomorrow, the Bill will return to the House of Commons for MPs to vote on the latest amendments proposed by the House of Lords. We need your help to ask MPs to support Amendment 4 to the Bill which creates meaningful safeguards that must be passed into law. 

Amendment 4 - an amendment put forward by the children’s rights campaigner and peer Baroness Kidron - severely restricts the circumstances in which child spies can be granted criminal conduct authorisations and prohibits this if there is a risk of any foreseeable harm to the child. 

To help, all you need to do is send an email to your local MP asking them to vote to keep Amendment 4. We've drafted the below email template to make this a bit easier, but you can write your own email if you'd prefer. You can find your MP and their contact details online here. If you get a response from your MP, we'd love to see it, so please forward it to us by emailing our Policy Officer, Eloïse Di Gianni, at eloisedigianni@justforkidslaw.org

Subject line: VOTE TO PROTECT CHILDREN ON 27th JANUARY and IN FAVOUR of Lords Amendment 4 for the CHIS (Criminal Conduct) Bill
Dear (insert your MP’s name),
I hope this email finds you well.

I am writing to raise my concerns with the child spies Bill currently going through Parliament. I was alarmed to hear that the government wants to allow children being used as spies to participate in criminal activities with impunity. I do not believe any minor should ever be used in this way. Keeping them in harm’s way for the sake of police investigations is wrong, as a former undercover police officer and handler said “children recruited as informants are also highly likely to end up getting drawn back into criminality and feeling trapped in their situation”. If children are going to be used in this way, there must be strong safeguards in the law to ensure that they are only ever deployed in truly exceptional circumstances and never put at risk of harm. Lords Amendment 4 ensures that those meaningful safeguards are put in place to protect children and vulnerable people from being kept in very dangerous situations, such as participating in county lines drug trafficking or being in a sexually exploitative situation.

That is why I ask that you vote to retain Lords Amendment 4 during the vote on Wednesday 27th on the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill.
Many thanks,

(Insert name and address including post code)