Social workers must act on suspicions

Social workers who believe children have been trafficked into the UK have been warned not to wait for their suspicions to be confirmed before acting, following a report on trafficking from south eastern Europe.

Christine Beddoe (pictured), director of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes UK, said the report by Unicef and Swiss charity Terres Des Hommes showed that early action was “critical”.

Action to Prevent Child Trafficking in South Eastern Europe highlights problems in tackling trafficking from Albania, Moldova, Romania and Kosovo.

The author of the Unicef report, Mike Dottridge, said a lack of training and resources, in addition to cultural attitudes, were preventing social workers in these countries from helping trafficked children.

He said: “The idea that social workers have a role to check on domestic abuse in the private sphere is not commonly accepted.”

The report stresses the role of social workers and the police as part of a synchronised system to tackle child trafficking.

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