“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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This isn’t a British problem alone, but a global one. Sex trafficking and modern slavery affect the poorest communities hardest often with family involvement. We need to find a way to put children back into schools, to uplift those in the direst of poverty, and to punish the traffickers.
What is worse than child slavery? As human beings anywhere in the world how can we allow this and do nothing when we know its happening? Please clear your conscience and step up.
All children should be given the support they need
i am ashamed to now find out this most serious crime against children happens in great Britain.we the country must protect our future.adverts must be put on tv where we can not ignore it
I think there is much to challenge in how the UK has dealt with so many people who have been thro terrible situations of abuse and torture. We need a govt with empathy and commitment to human rights as we do for the high levels of inequality in the UK which is dismissed by politicians in their greed for power. The Home Office has become a place of cruelty and abuse to those most in need!
Sexual abuse diffuse on line i Au was discuss today in parliament beacause the perpetrator had double they criminal abborent violence again children during the corona 19 pandemic. Sexual slavery and children’s abuse must be stopped, traffiching childrens is abomination!