The award-winning ECPAT UK Trafficked girls and young women's group was the first-ever peer support group for trafficked young people in the UK. It provides a safe space where young people who have been through emotional trauma can socialise and get involved in projects, such as drama and arts, as a way for them to recover from their experiences.

ECPAT UK Head of Youth, Debbie Beadle, said: "Some are very nervous when they first join the group. They can have quite severe mood swings and get very angry. Some suffer from post-traumatic stress and are very fearful. I remember one youngster who wouldn’t make eye contact. The group offers them a safe environment to express their feelings. Even within weeks, they start being more engaged. There is always a lot of laughter, which is important."

The youth group provides support in the following ways: 

  • Weekly peer support groups
  • Life skills programme 
  • Creative projects
  • Educational mentoring with The Refugee Support Network
  • ESOL support classes
  • Support in accessing compensation
  • Social activities 
  • Residentials
  • Individual support plan and signposting for further support 

Travel expenses and food are provided for each session. 

If you would like to refer a young person who may be a victim of trafficking, please note the following criteria: 

  • Aged 15-23
  • Practitioner has concerns about trafficking 

To refer a young person, contact youth@ecpat.org.uk or call 020 7607 2136