Help thousands of trafficked children in the UK - Freedom United
Campaign Update:

COVID-19 Update: Our partners at ECPAT UK have warned that the coronavirus lockdown can be incredibly triggering to child victims of trafficking, for whom having limited freedom of movement brings back difficult memories of being under the control of their traffickers. Read more here.

Help trafficked children in the UK

“I was lost; my childhood was stolen. But no-one seemed to want to help me.” – Sophie*, 15, who was sexually exploited for two years

Thousands of children each year like Sophie* are identified as victims of modern slavery and trafficking in the UK. They come from more than a hundred countries, including from within the UK itself. These children are known to be in situations of sexual exploitation, forced labour, criminal exploitation and domestic servitude – and they are some of the most vulnerable in our society, with many being alone in the UK with no family.

Those suspected of being trafficked qualify for support under child protection laws in the UK. However, the level of this support provided is often severely lacking and hugely inconsistent – as highlighted recently in the BBC’s Three Girls documentary about sexual exploitation in Rochdale.

Right now, the Home Office is examining the process for identifying and supporting victims of trafficking. This is our chance to ensure they include adequate provisions for child victims in the UK in their recommendations. We need your help to make sure they listen.

Send an email now to the Home Secretary to demand guaranteed specialist support for trafficked children.

If it is serious about its promise to “defeat modern slavery“, the Government must overhaul the current system of identification and support for victims of trafficking – the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The new system would have child rights at its heart and ensure nationality and immigration play no part in the identification of risk for children. It would take the form of a local, multi-agency ‘hub’, using trained, child protection actors with expertise in recognising and dealing with children at risk of trafficking and exploitation. Such a ‘hub’ could provide crucial intelligence locally and nationally, and would guarantee each child who has been a victim of modern slavery the specialist support they need.

*real name and image changed to protect her identity.

Jul 18, 2017 Campaign Launches

Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.

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Sherie Whiteman
Sherie Whiteman

I sign these petitions as agree with the sentiments entirely, but don’t know the true picture of what is happening and not sure where to find out. Any ideas?


I am aware that women who have voluntarily come to the UK to work in brothels are instructed to claim that they were trafficked, if there is a police raid. Therefore, like you say, it’s impossible as an outsider to know the true circumstances and stats. I do think that trafficked children should be returned to their home country though, as long as they do have decent family members/guardians who will guarantee their safety.

cj m

without more data — i wont take a stance on this.
We’ve no way of knowing the circumstances regarding their situation. Deportation could just as easily mean returning a victim to their families in their home country and we frankly can’t afford to be so blazé about this.

A. Deha
A. Deha

This is the least i can do to help those children as human being. If i can’t/won’t do this than i’m not a human being.


please assist in stopping child trafficking. it can be our child next…

Gary E. Andrews

If these children aren’t safe no man, woman or child in the UK is safe. The government is impotent against sinister forces more powerful than it. You can strengthen the UK for the people.


Help us reach 30,000 actions

Dear Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP,

Children suspected of being trafficked qualify for support under child protection laws in the UK. However, the level of this support provided is often severely lacking and hugely inconsistent.

Children who have suffered in situations of exploitation require high levels of dedicated and specialist support in order to meet their needs, help them to rebuild their lives and become young adults. This should include:

  • Multi-agency decision-making about trafficking identification
  • Immediate appointment of an independent legal guardian or advocate
  • Access to specialist accommodation placements (such as specialist foster care)
  • Quick and guaranteed access to specialist psychotherapy/counselling
  • Publicly funded lawyers who are trained in trafficking issues and law relating to children
  • A grant of leave that would ensure a durable solution (for those with immigration concerns)
  • Access to compensation
  • Guaranteed non-prosecution for crimes that were a direct result of any exploitation
  • A multi-agency assessment of re-trafficking risk and subsequent safety plan
  • Automatic special measures in all courts

There is currently no central funding available nationally for the specialist care of trafficked children who are instead supported by local authority children’s services.

We urge you to overhaul the current system of identification/support for victims of modern slavery. We want the Government to ensure the identification process is embedded within existing multi-agency child protection structures and to provide sufficient resources to allow local authority areas to deliver specialist care and support for some of the most vulnerable children in our society.

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