“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.
Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.
A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.
As one who was assaulted once as a four year old who still suffers the consequences at 71, I beg you to strengthen all necessary help and services for those who need help just to live from day to day.
Slavery and trafficking should be stopped anyway but kids slavery and trafficking should never happen full stop! This needs to end now. The people that do this are disgusting uneducated idiots.
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.
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.
Helping these vulnerable children requires excellent coordination of first-line agencies including banking and other financial institutions, the police, social service, schools, colleges, community groups and volunteers. Asking Prince Harry to lead this is a brilliant idea. The prince is charismatic, energetic and popular and I hope will really wish to help this vital cause.