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Spotlight on trafficked children

Trafficked children

Barnardo’s is pushing for the provision of legal guardians to support vulnerable trafficked children.

Trafficked children2

The Home Office has announced new legislation on human trafficking through the publication of a draft Modern Slavery Bill. Barnardo’s is working with other anti-trafficking organisations to call for guardians with legal powers to provide vital support for children as they face immigration, care and criminal justice proceedings. Barnardo’s is also pushing for an independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to hold the Government’s policies to account, as well as a rolling out of specialist foster care schemes to keep these children safe.

Many child victims of trafficking have suffered physical, sexual and psychological abuse; and have found themselves in a foreign country without their family or guardians. Often they have little support in trying to understand the complex systems they need to manage in what is often a new and perplexing place. Children are trafficked for several purposes including sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, domestic servitude and benefit fraud.

Trafficked children3

Barnardo’s is one of the few organisations in the UK that provides direct one-to-one support for trafficked children through three specialist anti-trafficking services in London, Hampshire and Manchester. We also support trafficked children in a specialist fostering service in the South East and a residential unit for child victims of trafficking in Glasgow. These services work to establish new trusting relationships with children in order to break the link with traffickers and support their long-term recovery.

The draft Modern Slavery Bill is currently being scrutinised by a Joint Parliamentary Committee and we have provided written and oral evidence to this based on our experience of working with child victims. We will continue to call for the provision of legal guardians as the draft Bill passes through Parliament in the coming months.

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