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Complainant Name:
Ms Shona Moyce

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Daily Mail


This complaint was originally made to the PCC. As the PCC closed on 8 September the complaint was resolved by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) under PCC procedures. IPSO is the new independent regulator of the newspaper and magazine industry.

Ms Shona Moyce complained to the Press Complaints Commission about two articles which she considered to have been inaccurate and intrusive in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice. The articles were about a report by the child protection charity, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, which claimed to have found a "cultural acceptance of the sexualisation of children" on the island of St Helena. The complainant was concerned with the tone of the coverage, and explained that as a community, the people of St Helena would not tolerate child abuse.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the addition of the following two statements, from the Governor and Executive Council of St Helena, to the online articles:

From the Executive Councillors:

St Helena has the same issues as any other jurisdiction and has made strong progress over the past few years in dealing with and prosecuting sex offenders, and improving child protection. Councillors and Government here welcome any objective and independent review of our current arrangements. Recommendations in both the reports cited have been implemented and are now well embedded on the Island. There is always more to do, and we are not complacent, but the fact remains that child safeguarding procedures on St Helena are stronger now than they have ever been. The way cases are assembled, supervised and prosecuted has been reformed, as have training and professional standards. In addition, our various agencies here are now working closely together to review historic cases.

From the Governor

In recent years, we have openly welcomed and cooperated fully with several independent reviews. As in any small community, we recognise that external assessment is often the best option to establish the facts and, importantly, to withstand any suspicion of a lack of objectivity. The allegations made in the UK media articles about St Helena and Ascension Island are serious and we must now address them. To that end, we will consider urgently with our partners in the UK Government how to examine the allegations carefully, to establish the facts and, crucially, to do that in a way that will ensure confidence in both the process and the outcome.

Date Published: 09/10/2014

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