Wednesday, 16th October 2018

ECPAT UK has today announced legal chambers Garden Court Chambers as the recipient of the 2019 Children’s Champion award. The award is made in recognition of Garden Court's tireless work advocating for the rights of trafficked children and developing the law to protect child victims for over a decade. 

Following open, public nominations, a shortlist of five outstanding nominees were selected for consideration. The shortlist comprised Ahmed Aydeed, Director of Public Law at Duncan Lewis Solicitors; Hannah Baynes, Public Law and Immigration Law Solicitor at Duncan Lewis Solicitors; Fiona Ranson, foster carer for fostering and adoption charity The Adolescent and Children's Trust (TACT); Rebecca Flint, Children's Solicitor and Supervisor at Consonant (formerly known as Asylum Aid) and Garden Court Chambers, a barristers' chambers.

A panel of previous Children's Champions scored the shortlisted nominees against a set of criteria identifying commitment to child victims of trafficking that exceeds expectations and influences positive change.

Previous Children's Champion for 2014, Kalvir Kaur, said 

'For more than a decade they have sought to clarify, interpret and apply the legal principles which would lead to greater protection for victims of human trafficking.'

Garden Court's numerous achievements for children include acting in the case of ZS, a particularly vulnerable unaccompanied child from Afghanistan (now aged 15) - challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department for failing in her duties under the ‘Dubs Amendment’, conducting legal advisory work on the Modern Slavery Bill for NGOs and for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and giving evidence at All-Party Parliamentary Groups on human rights, trafficking and children’s rights.

Katherine Mulhern, CEO of ECPAT UK, said

'As well as advocating for trafficked children by shaping the law, Garden Court are outstanding advocates for individual children. Sometimes the cases they take don’t receive attention or accolades, but they result in life-changing outcomes for child victims who can then begin to recover from their experiences. 

'With such a team of top barristers consistently fighting for child victims' rights and entitlements, we are confident that the current system for trafficked children and young people will continue to improve.

'Congratulations to the team at Garden Court for a well-deserved award.'

About the ECPAT UK Children's Champion Award 

The ECPAT UK Children’s Champion Award is an annual award presented to one individual or organisation that has shown outstanding commitment to children. Past winners include:

  • The Scottish Guardianship Service, for its child-centred model of practice with unaccompanied and separated and trafficked children in Scotland.
  • Lord McColl of Dulwich CBE, for his dedicated fight for a system of independent guardianship for trafficked children over many years
  • Kalvir Kaur, a leading children’s solicitor and former Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year, who has specialised in cases of trafficked children
  • Nadine Finch, barrister and leading children’s rights advocate, who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to children’s rights
  • The Row for Freedom team of five young women, who gained two world records by rowing unaided across the Atlantic Ocean to raise awareness of child trafficking


Press contact

Sinead Geoghegan, Communications and Media Manager, [email protected], 0207 607 2136