Suspected child trafficking victims could be placed on emergency protection orders under new government guidance published today.
The guidance, put out for consultation by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, explains how to spot victims of trafficking and give them long-term support. Proposals include identifying a lead professional and team to draw up a child protection plan and advising schools.
The guidance was published following a government-commissioned report identifying 330 cases of children being trafficked into and around the UK.
More than half of children known or suspected to be victims of trafficking in three English regions have gone missing from social services’ care, according to independent research by charity ECPAT UK earlier this year.
Department for Children, Schools and Families Minister Kevin Brennan said today: “Child trafficking is a particularly ugly and pernicious crime, with serious consequences for the young people caught up in it. It can be difficult to identify, and once in care it can be difficult for local services to ensure the children are not drawn back into the clutches of the traffickers.
“That is why it is vital for practitioners to use this guidance, to act quickly and in a joined up way. That is the best way to ensure that the crucial interventions are made, to break the cycle of child exploitation.”
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