Please act now - join our campaign to make children a priority in the Modern Slavery Bill

Act now - join our campaign to make children a priority in the Modern Slavery BillECPAT UK has launched a campaign urging the UK Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, to ensure the needs of children are prioritised in the Government’s new Modern Slavery Bill.

We are urging you to support this urgent campaign to make sure child victims of trafficking are protected and the UK steps up its fight to stop child trafficking.

Why your support matters... Anna*, an orphan, was 12 when she was brought to the UK on a “holiday” from West Africa. Within days of arriving, she was forced into domestic slavery.

Given only leftovers to eat, Anna quietly cried herself to sleep on the floor every night. If she made a noise, she was kicked and beaten. In the daytime, her captors invited men to the house to rape her for money. When she finally managed to escape, Anna was forced to sleep on the streets for months before she finally found a safe place to stay.

Unbelievably, neither the people that trafficked Anna to the UK nor the family that abused her for years were punished for what they did.

Right now we have an opportunity to ensure that Britain is a safe place for children and hostile to their traffickers. In less than a week, the Government will introduce a draft Modern Slavery Bill in the UK.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SIGN OUR PETITION: Ask the Home Secretary Theresa May MP to help end child trafficking by including measures in the Modern Slavery Bill to prevent this crime, prosecute criminals and protect children.

Children like Anna are targeted by traffickers because they are inherently vulnerable, easy to control and groom, and because they are less likely to fight back or report a crime. Under current UK legislation, too many victims have been denied the protections they so desperately need.

According to Government figures, in 2011, there were only eight convictions under UK human trafficking legislation. In effect, child trafficking remains a low-risk crime. Yet there are thousands of victims discovered each year, and hundreds of these are children.

  • Measures to protect and assist all victims, including the creation of a system of legal guardianship to provide vulnerable children with an independent professional to fight for their rights
  • The establishment of an independent Anti-Trafficking Commissioner to monitor and improve the UK’s response to human trafficking
  • The creation of a specific crime of child trafficking and exploitation to reflect the severity of this abuse of children and convict more offenders
  • Protection for victims so they are not imprisoned for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers

Thank you in advance for your support.

*Anna is not her real name

Media enquiries 
For more information, please contact Chloe Setter, Head of Advocacy, Policy & Campaigns, ECPAT UK, on 0207 607 2136 (or c.setter@ecpat.org.uk) or Bharti Patel, CEO, ECPAT UK, on 07402 113985

About the campaign
ECPAT UK has partnered with Walk Free to deliver this campaign. Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to end one of the world's greatest evils: Modern slavery.

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Training

ECPAT UK is the leading expert voice on child trafficking in the UK and we offer a comprehensive training programme focused on safeguarding young people from trafficking, modern slavery, and transnational abuse. To find out more visit our training page

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