Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “While the Health Minister has already committed to an inquiry, it was important for the Assembly to debate this issue.
“I hope that this can be a speedy and efficient process, given the pressing urgency of getting this right. Once recommendations have been made, it will be incumbent upon government to work pro-actively and collectively to ensure that they are properly implemented.
“The focus has primarily fallen on those young people living in care homes, however, it has been stressed that there are young people at risk in a wide range of settings.
“Exploitation can come in many forms, and may not be readily apparent to the victim either at the time or even with the benefit of hindsight. We should also be mindful of the particular dangers that can come from the internet.
“This is a multi-faceted problem, and addressing it will involve a range of inputs and responses from a number of Departments and agencies.”