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Trafficked children

Trafficked children are some of the most vulnerable in the UK

Traffickers force children into sexual exploitation, slavery, criminal activities and forced marriage.

These children are moved to the UK from many parts of the world, especially Southeast Asia, West Africa and Eastern Europe. Some children are trafficked from one part of the UK to another. They are moved away from their family and friends, only to be exploited for somebody else’s gain.

Distressed girl sitting outdoors

Trafficked children are usually too afraid to seek help and it is hard to remove them from the people exploiting them. They need intensive support to escape their traffickers and recover from their experiences.

What we do to help

Barnardo’s is one of the few organisations in the UK to provide direct, specialist support to trafficked children.

We help these young victims cope with the practical and emotional traumas of being trafficked. Our specialist support workers help them to understand what is happening with social care services, the police and immigration - in ways that they can understand.

We run specialist Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTA) services in London, Hampshire and Manchester that:

  • build trusting relationships with trafficked children, to help them get away from their traffickers
  • give practical support, such as help with housing, medical needs and education
  • give emotional and psychological support through counselling
  • train professionals working with children so they can spot the signs of trafficking and know how to support trafficked children

Child victims of trafficking need specialist foster parents who have the skills and knowledge to help them overcome their trauma and keep them safe from traffickers. That's why we also run a specialist fostering service in the southeast that finds safe and loving homes for trafficked children.