Can you imagine how much it is £ 12 billion? Can you imagine who are the people who stand behind children trafficking? Can you imagine your child kidnaped for sex trafficking? Or for an organ’s implant? Or for a slavery work? You would have done a lot to stop trafficking children, wouldn’t you? So, why don’t you?
Most children are trafficked for financial gain. This can include payment from or to the child’s parents. In most cases, the trafficker also receives payment from those wanting to exploit the child once in the UK. Some trafficking is carried out by organised gangs. In other cases individual adults or agents traffic children to the UK for their own personal gain. For example, these children may be used for: sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, sweatshop, restaurant and other catering work, credit card fraud, begging or pick pocketing or other forms of petty criminal activity, agricultural labour, including tending plants in illegal cannabis farms, benefit fraud, drug mules, drug dealing or decoys for adult drug traffickers, and illegal inter-country adoption.
Unfortunately, after being trafficked, many of them end up in the UK. How is it possible that a trafficked child can cross the official borders in the UK? Well, many of them are brought through any port of entry into the UK. There is evidence that some children are trafficked via numerous transit countries and many may travel through other European Union countries before arriving in the UK. There are many legitimate reasons for children being brought to the UK, such as economic migration with their family, education, re-unification with family or fleeing a war-torn country. Some children will have travelled with their parents or carers.
However, a number of children arrive in the UK accompanied by adults who are either not related to them or in circumstances which raise child protection concerns. For example, there may be little evidence of any pre-existing relationship or even an absence of any knowledge of the sponsor. There may be unsatisfactory accommodation arranged in the UK, or perhaps no evidence of parental permission for the child to travel to the UK or stay with the sponsor. These irregularities may be the only indication that the child could be a victim of trafficking. Some accompanied children may apply for asylum claiming to be unaccompanied, after being told by their trafficker that by doing so they will be granted permission to reside in the UK and be entitled to claim welfare benefits.
There are documented cases of teenage girls, born in the UK, being targeted for internal trafficking between towns and cities for sexual exploitation. Such cases are highlighted by Coalition for the Removal of Pimping who published a document Trafficking in Our Midst UK describing how girls have been lured away from their families to perform sexual acts with groups of older men and threatened with violence if they refuse. The traffickers exerted strong control over the girls who had no means of communicating with family or friends and often had no idea where they were in the UK. The girls complied with the sexual demands to avoid being further assaulted or their family or friends threatened.
Trafficked children are not only deprived of their rights to health care and freedom from exploitation and abuse but are also not provided with access to education. The creation of a false identity and implied criminality of the children, together with the loss of family and community, seriously undermines their sense of self-worth. At the time they are found, trafficked children may not show any obvious signs of distress or imminent harm, they may be vulnerable to particular types of abuse and may continue to experience the effects of their abuse in the future.
You can download Trafficking in Our Midst UK report here
To act consciously against child abuse and exploitation visit Dare2Care