JUSTICE and Just For Kids Law have jointly issued this briefing which sets out our deep concerns with the use of children and vulnerable adults as covert operatives under the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill.
This Bill would allow certain public bodies to grant criminal conduct authorisations to operatives, rendering their criminal acts ‘lawful for all purposes’ and providing them with immunity. This would apply equally to children and vulnerable individuals, who are deployed by law enforcement bodies in dangerous contexts, not least county lines drug trafficking.
Our position is that the state should never use children and vulnerable individuals in this way, but if their use is continued to be permitted, there must be clear and meaningful safeguards set out in primary legislation. For this reason, we call on MPs to support Lords amendment no. 4 which creates meaningful safeguards that must be passed into law.