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Breaking the wall of silence

Practitioners’ responses to trafficked children and young people

As set out in international law, all children have the right to be safe regardless of their immigration status. The trafficking of children and young people into the UK has become increasingly evident over the past decade. Trafficking of children and young people is child abuse and the responsibility for protecting children in the UK rests with local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs). The definition of trafficking of children used in this report follows the UN’s Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000), which came into force on 25 December 2003 and states:

(a) “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;

(b) The consent of a victim of trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) have been used;

(c) The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purposes of exploitation shall be considered “trafficking in persons” even if this does not involve any of the means set forth in subparagraph (a) of this article;

(d) “Child” shall mean any person under eighteen years of age.