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NSPCC’s Child Trafficking Advice Centre - We must work together to prevent child trafficking

The NSPCC’s Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) is working with Vietnam, Nigeria and Romania to help stop vulnerable children from being trafficked into the UK.

Thousands of vulnerable children and young people are trafficked into the UK every year. They are brought into this country by adult perpetrators to be exploited in different ways - including criminally and sexually.

In a bid to prevent this horrendous abuse from happening, we at the NSPCC’s Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) have been working with three of the countries from which children are predominately trafficked into the UK; Vietnam, Nigeria and now Romania. We are working to help stop children being abused in this way by putting a major emphasis on how agencies (such as children’s services, police, visa and immigration officials) work together on both sides of the borders.

We recognise that working together is crucial in preventing, investigating and protecting children from harm. This is why we took an important step to be the UK partner with Terres De Homme Romania on a European commission funded project called Improving Coordination and Accountability towards Romanian Unaccompanied minors’ Safety, ICARUS. The project aims for UK and Romanian social workers, police and border officials to work together and share knowledge and information to ensure that vulnerable children from Romania are identified, that assessments and investigations are carried out and appropriate plans made.

We know that children trafficked to the UK often experience the most traumatic physical, sexual and emotional violence. Their adult traffickers often make money through subjecting these young people to forced labour and crime. This is sadly often explained to a young person as a way for them to pay off a debt they or their family 'owe' to the traffickers.

We need to stop this form of child abuse. This is why this Romanian project, is so important. The project includes a range of activities in Romania, Hungary and the UK. These include our free Safeguarding and Improving Cross border Collaboration training events for social workers, the police and border control officials. The training aims to give professionals an opportunity to learn about the systems in Romania and how to better work with international colleagues to safeguard Romanian children.

There is also a website; www.hub-icarus.eu where professionals such as social workers and police can find out more information about safeguarding Romanian children and child trafficking in general.

For more information on the project or for help and advice you can contact CTAC by calling 0808 800 5000 or emailing help@nspcc.org.uk. Or visit the website at: nspcc.org.uk/cta