Child Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Human Trafficking

Although many people think of human trafficking as only affecting adults, it affects children as well.  Child trafficking is child abuse.  Children are recruited, moved or transported and then exploited, forced to work or sold.  They are often subject to multiple forms of exploitation.  It is also not just about trafficking adults and children across national borders, human trafficking can take place anywhere.

Children are trafficked for;

  • child sexual exploitation

  • benefit fraud

  • forced marriage

  • domestic servitude such as cleaning, childcare, cooking

  • forced labour in factories or agriculture

  • criminal activity such as pickpocketing, begging, transporting drugs, working on cannabis farms, selling pirated DVDs and bag theft

Many children are trafficked into the UK from abroad, but children can also be trafficked from one part of the UK to another.

For the LSCB Trafficked Children policy please click herethis external link will open in a new window

Modern Slavery

Modern slavery involves children who are recruited, moved or transported and then exploited and forced to work or sold.  The Modern Slavery Act 2015 provides legal protection and support to victims and covers two offences - i) human trafficking and ii) forced labour and servitude.

Children do not have to prove that they have been coerced or persuaded in order to be a victim of modern slavery, i.e. a child's consent to being trafficked is irrelevant and it is not necessary to prove coercion or any other inducement for there to be an offence.  This includes their engagement in criminal activity.

Public authorities have a duty under the Act to notify the Home Office when they come across potential victims of modern slavery and people trafficking.

Useful links

Gov.UK - Collections/Modern Slaverythis external link will open in a new window

Unseen UKthis external link will open in a new window

NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice Centrethis external link will open in a new window

The Salvation Armythis external link will open in a new window

Migrant Helpthis external link will open in a new window

Kalayaanthis external link will open in a new window

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