Measures urged to counter trafficking

More child protection officers should be placed at ports of entry into the UK to spot child trafficking victims, contributors to a government consultation have said.

Many stated that officers should be placed at all of the country’s air, rail and sea ports.

This would build on work by the Metropolitan Police, which set up a ports safeguarding team to monitor London ports after its Operation Paladin Child in 2003 found large numbers of unaccompanied children were arriving at Heathrow.

A government report last week on responses to the Tackling Human Trafficking consultation also highlighted calls for an expansion in support services for people trafficked into the UK, particularly for men, boys, and girls aged under 18.

Respondents raised concerns about private fostering arrangements, saying immigration officials should immediately contact social services when children entered the UK under such circumstances.

The government said it would consider the responses and publish an action plan later in the year.

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