Help trafficked children in the UK - FreedomUnited.org

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.

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Ryan Armstrong
Guest

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.

Lesley P
Guest

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.

wpDiscuz

Ask the Home Secretary to help trafficked children

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Dear Secretary of State,

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.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your address]

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Ask the Home Secretary to help trafficked children

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Our partner in this campaign:

ECPAT UK

ECPAT UK is the UK national representative of ECPAT International, a global network of 80 children's rights organisations in 74 countries. Since 1994, ECPAT UK's targeted and focused campaigns and activities have been successful in improving child protection, including the introduction of new UK legislation and the ratification of relevant international conventions, and in raising awareness about child trafficking, exploitation and the abuse of children by British sex offenders at home and abroad.

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