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Trafficked children disappearing from care

Hundreds of trafficked and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children went missing from care in the 12 months to September last year.

The charities Ecpat UK and Missing People report that 167 trafficked children and as many as 593 unaccompanied asylum seekers disappeared from the care system over the year in question. Alarmingly, 207 (or 40 per cent) of these vulnerable youngsters have never been found.

Meanwhile, too many local authorities have little or no information on the scale of the problem in their areas the charities claim.

“Local authorities with responsibility for the care of these children are frequently not able to report how many unaccompanied and trafficked children are in their care, and many failed to identify any child trafficking victims. Poor data collection and recording at a local level is deeply concerning and suggests that the UK’s wider child protection response to child victims of trafficking, in particular, is inadequate.”

Training for frontline workers on the specific issues faced by trafficked children and unaccompanied asylum seekers is urgently needed they claim, as well as a greater focus on safe and appropriate accommodation and tighter data collection procedures.

Chloe Setter of Ecpat said the problem had reached a shocking scale:

“For too long, children who are at risk of exploitation, or who have been trafficked, have gone missing from care – sometimes repeatedly, sometimes forever. It is a national disgrace that this problem has remained neglected and these children rendered invisible by poor data collection and national co-ordination.”

Photo by CileSuns92 via Flickr

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. keith says:

    the nasty business of child trafficking needs to be smashed and the criminals involved in it sent to prison. yes the prison system is overflowing with people who should never have been sent to prison as they are not posed as a threat to the public. and at approx £1000 per week to keep these people behind bars its simply not in the public interest.
    the justice system is full of incompetent judges who are not fit to judge on X factor let alone in a court room.
    the UK is a laughing stock to the rest of the world. Lets get it sorted out and quick!

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