The Aids epidemic blighting parts of Africa is feeding the trade in
child trafficking, the solicitor general warned last week.
Harriet Harman told a conference in London on sexual offences
against children that the virus was “creating a new source of child
Families stricken by Aids often struggled to cope and were forced
to send their children to the UK or other European countries in the
hope they would “have a better life”.
Harman warned that the “modern day slavery” of child trafficking
was a “new and growing threat” that professionals and the
government needed to be alert to.
“As well as Eastern European countries and parts of south Asia such
as Thailand, I am concerned about African countries. We cannot be
precise but we know it is going on.”
Harman, who was also a member of the House of Commons standing
committee on the Sexual Offences Act 2003 while it was going
through parliament, said it was essential that social services, the
police and the voluntary sector worked together with the
immigration service to combat the problem.
She added that more work would also need to be done by the
Department for International Development to tackle child
trafficking across Europe and that the government needed to step up
its efforts to combat it.