Child victims of trafficking are just like other young people, 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.

Some of the barriers they face include securing their immigration status, poor decision making and lengthy waits for immigration claims and other important decisions, and a lack of support to navigate the many complex legal and care systems in the UK. 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.

Having a long term plan in place, a stable immigration status where necessary and someone to support them early on in their recovery would allow each child to live in safety, free of fear and of further instability in their lives. It would allow them to focus on their education, future careers and friendships, just like any other young person.

That’s why we stand with ECPAT UK call for the government to give trafficked children their futures back.

We’re calling for the government to:

  1. Expand the Independent Child Trafficking Guardian service in England and Wales to all unaccompanied children as well as those already identified as potentially trafficked.
  2. Establish a process to find a long-term, sustainable arrangement for each child victim of trafficking, and provide these children with indefinite leave to remain in the UK if it is in their best interests.

For more information or to pledge your support, contact Catherine Baker, Senior Campaigns and Parliamentary Officer, by emailing [email protected] or calling 0207 607 2136.