Monday, 9th April 2018

ECPAT UK has released a new film to raise awareness about support for migrant children who are criminally exploited.

Launched on 22nd March 2018 at a national police conference about safeguarding children from abroad, the film ‘Behind the Behaviour: identifying the criminal exploitation of migrant children’ highlights how migrant children who are criminally exploited may not be easily recognised as victims by frontline services in the UK. These children may be afraid to talk about their experiences or present challenging behaviour, and often this leads to them being criminalised instead of receiving the support they need to recover from their trauma. ECPAT UK works with children who have been trafficked into the UK for criminal exploitation and are arrested and imprisoned when they are identified by authorities in the UK.

All children have a right to be supported and protected by UK services, and children who are criminally exploited should be treated as victims not offenders. As the video shows, effective support for trafficked and exploited children is not a question of sympathy but a legal duty.

ECPAT UK is campaigning for reform of the National Referral Mechanism, the system of identification and support for child victims or trafficking. This includes calling for specialist support provision for child victims and a guarantee that no child will be prosecuted for a crime that resulted from their exploitation.


Press contacts

Chloe Setter, Head of Advocacy, Policy & Campaigns, ECPAT UK: 07890 120834 [email protected]

Sinead Geoghegan, Information, Media and Communications Officer, ECPAT UK: 020 7607 2136 [email protected]