ASK THE HOME SECRETARY TO SUPPORT TRAFFICKED CHILDREN IN THE UK

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Dear Home Secretary, Sajid Javid 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.