UPDATE (February 2015): This petition is now closed. Thank you to the more than 80,000 supporters who called on the Home Secretary to protect trafficked children in the Modern Slavery Act. The importance of this milestone step cannot be understated. We have listened to the voices of the young people that we work with and seen just how much they need someone on their side and by their side. It is why we have never stopped campaigning for these vital protections in our law. With help from you, our loyal supporters, and several high-profile campaigners, we have succeeded in making the government hear our concerns. More importantly, they now are taking action to improve protection for trafficked children and to bring the UK in line with international legislation. CLICK HERE to view the field report. 

Anna*, an orphan, was 12 when she was brought to the UK on a “holiday” from West Africa. Within days of arriving, she was forced into domestic slavery.

Given only leftovers to eat, Anna quietly cried herself to sleep on the floor every night. If she made a noise, she was kicked and beaten. In the daytime, her captors invited men to the house to rape her for money. When she finally managed to escape, Anna was forced to sleep on the streets for months before she finally found a safe place to stay.

Unbelievably, neither the people that trafficked Anna to the UK nor the family that abused her for years were punished for what they did.

Right now we have an opportunity to ensure that Britain is a safe place for children and hostile to their traffickers. In less than a week, the Government will introduce a draft Modern Slavery Bill in the UK.

Ask the Home Secretary Theresa May MP to help end child trafficking by including measures in the Modern Slavery Bill to prevent this crime, prosecute criminals and protect children.

Children like Anna are targeted by traffickers because they are inherently vulnerable, easy to control and groom, and because they are less likely to fight back or report a crime. Under current UK legislation, too many victims have been denied the protections they so desperately need.

According to Government figures, in 2011, there were only eight convictions under UK human trafficking legislation. In effect, child trafficking remains a low-risk crime. Yet there are thousands of victims discovered each year, and hundreds of these are children. We are calling for: 

  • Measures to protect and assist all victims, including the creation of a system of legal guardianship to provide vulnerable children with an independent professional to fight for their rights

  • The establishment of an independent Anti-Trafficking Commissioner to monitor and improve the UK’s response to human trafficking

  • The creation of a specific crime of child trafficking and exploitation to reflect the severity of this abuse of children and convict more offenders

  • Protection for victims so they are not imprisoned for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers