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Press releases archive


ECPAT UK welcomes new report on child exploitation in the UK

ECPAT UK welcomes the publication today of the Interim report of The Office of the Children’s Commissioner Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups, which discovered ‘more than 2,400 confirmed victims over 14 months, and 16,500 at severe risk of abuse over 12 months’. This begs the question, how many of these children are victims of trafficking?

The report, entitled: “I thought I was the only one. The only one in the world” details the scale and prevalence of the sexual exploitation of children and young people in gang or group contexts, and reports that child sexual exploitation goes largely undetected. This is certainly the case for child victims of trafficking, as trafficking is a hidden crime with ‘invisible’ victims. 

ECPAT UK is a member of the Advisory Group on this Inquiry, and provided expertise on child trafficking and exploitation. The report recognises that child victims of trafficking are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation due to several factors, including their isolation, their dependence on their traffickers, threats of and actual violence, and/or threats to their family in their country of origin. This includes not only children who are trafficked for sexual exploitation but also those trafficked for labour exploitation or domestic servitude.

ECPAT UK Director Christine Beddoe said: ECPAT UK endorses this wake-up call to the agencies responsible for protecting children in the UK. In our experience trafficked children do not disclose their experiences of exploitation and abuse for a number of reasons.  ECPAT UK is campaigning for a system of guardianship for child victims of trafficking, to ensure that children have someone they can trust, who could potentially be someone they could disclose abuse to and who can take appropriate action in the best interest of the child to safeguard that child.

21st November 2012


Colin Walker
Deputy Director, ECPAT UK
Tel: 020 7233 9887


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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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