Children trafficked into the UK should have legal guardians appointed to represent in court proceedings, a charity has urged.
Northern Ireland has now become the first part of the UK to introduce such a measure, with new legislation receiving Royal Assent this week. The Human Trafficking & Exploitation Bill requires the appointment of guardians that children who arrive in the province without a parent or career, through trafficking or other means, should have a guardian appointed to represent them.
A recently tabled amendment to the Modern Slavery Bill, still proceeding through parliament, could see the measure introduced elsewhere.
Child protection charity ECPAT UK to take note of developments in Northern Ireland. Head of advocacy, policy and campaigns Chloe Setter said:
“We want this to put pressure on other governments so they step up to the game on this.”
Legal guardians were “essential” she claimed, and “not a luxury”.