Trafficked children should be allowed to remain in the UK to prevent them from being re-trafficked on return to their countries of origin, MPs and Lords were told last night.
Nasima Patel, an area children’s services manager for the NSPCC, told the Joint Committee on Human Rights that trafficked children should be granted indefinite leave to remain and that there was a significant risk of re-trafficking if they were returned.
She denied that this would create a ‘pull factor’ for the children to come to the UK as they had not given their consent to make the trip.
Christine Beddoe, director of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes, who was also addressing the committee, said that re-trafficking was also a potential problem with the government’s plans to return unaccompanied minors whose asylum claims had failed.
She said that the programme would need to put measures in place to ensure that the children were safe in their home countries once they had been returned.
“We should not be sending them back if we can’t monitor them over a long period of time,” she said.