Update, March 2020: The Covid-19 crisis has shown how vital it is to properly support vulnerable people. Amid the pandemic, child victims of trafficking are losing access to essential services and social contact, and dealing with new extremes of isolation. Many are experiencing re-traumatisation, triggered by the restriction of movement they may have experienced during exploitation. This leaves them increasingly at risk of re-trafficking and harm by those who seek to exploit their vulnerability. 

5 years ago, the government committed to providing guardians for child victims of trafficking in its Modern Slavery Act. But most child victims are still waiting for this service, which provides a trusted, specialist adult to support them. It’s inexcusable to leave children unprotected when this support is already enshrined in law. Trafficked children need stability and support now more than ever. Please take a stand by signing our petition below and tweeting your MP asking them to raise this issue with the Home Secretary.

If you have a document [proving your immigration status] it means you have the opportunity to do lots of things. You start living like normal people. Without a document you’re not like normal people. The Home Office tells you what you can and can't do. [When you have the right to remain in the UK] you’re not scared anymore. You can decide what you want to do and pursue your future.

Trafficked and unaccompanied teenagers are just like other young people their age, with hopes and dreams for the future. While they may have experienced unimaginable trauma, they are resilient, resourceful and full of potential. Yet under the current system, they are often unable to recover, live stable lives and plan for their future. Following difficult journeys to the UK, unaccompanied children may be victims of trafficking, but this often goes undetected by the authorities as there is no one for them to confide in.

Young people who are recognised as victims often find this is not the end of their ordeal but the beginning of a new one. All young people should have the security to plan for their futures as they reach adulthood. Young people who have experienced serious trauma and abuse need even greater stability in order to recover and rebuild their lives. But the UK Government is currently denying these children their right to recovery and to live lives that meet their full potential.

Join us in calling on the government to give trafficked children their futures back

We're proud to have MPs, peers, charities and frontline organisations supporting our stable futures campaign. See our campaign supporters