Office move

We have relocated! Our new office address is: 

Thomas Clarkson House
The Stable Yard
Broomgrove Road
SW9 9TL 

Please note we are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our phone systems. If you have an urgent enquiry, please call 07402 113985

Press releases archive


ECPAT UK's new report calls on government to make child trafficking part of history

On the occasion of the first UK Anti-Slavery Day, (18th October), ECPAT UK has published a report highlighting the alarming incidence of child trafficking in the UK today, and the failings of UK authorities to combat the problem. The report, entitled Child Trafficking in the UK: A snapshot, provides a concise overview of this alarming form of child exploitation, which requires urgent attention and action.

The report suggests there is a serious disparity between the suspected numbers of cases of trafficked children and the action taken in response by UK authorities. The report draws attention to the fact that between 1st April 2009 and 30th June 2010, 215 (26%) of the 843 cases of potential victims of human trafficking referred under the National Referral Mechanism related to children. These children came from 33 countries; the highest numbers of children referred into the system were from Vietnam and China. These are shocking figures which prompt further analysis of whether these children, who have faced appalling abuse and neglect, are getting access to justice and support, and question whether the UK is apprehending and prosecuting traffickers and adequately protecting these children from further harm.

ECPAT UK Director Christine Beddoe commented, “The government decision to introduce a national Anti-Slavery Day is important and welcome and provides a real opportunity for the UK to reflect on historic and contemporary forms of exploitation. However, if 215 children have been referred to the National Referral Mechanism by police, local authorities and immigration officials, then surely there should be a consistent number of police investigations across the country. But this is not the case and ECPAT UK is at a loss to know why child trafficking is not being investigated or why police inquiries are not being progressed."

“Despite government acknowledgements that child trafficking is a form of child abuse the current response is inadequate in protecting and supporting these children and the government’s claim to be making the UK a hostile environment for traffickers seems doubtful.”

There are however pockets of good practice across the UK which are detailed in the report within the police and children’s social services; this practice has usually evolved as a result of outstanding individuals who have taken the initiative to combat child trafficking.

On Anti-Slavery Day, ECPAT UK award Operation Golf with the annual Children Champion Award 2010 for efforts to combat child trafficking. The Metropolitan Police’s Operation Golf is a Joint Investigation Team with Romania which has been working to uncover the trafficking of children for benefit fraud and street crime in the UK. This initiative, mostly funded by the European Commission, has substantially improved the way children forced to beg and steal have been protected as victims. 

18th October 2010


Notes to Editors
ECPAT UK is a leading children’s rights organisation campaigning against child trafficking and child exploitation. ECPAT UK is a UK registered charity (Registered Charity  1104948) and the UK national representative of the global ECPAT movement with partner organisations in over 70 countries around the world campaigning against the exploitation of children.

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for identification of victims of trafficking was introduced in April 2009 as part of the UK’s obligations under the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings, ratified by the UK in 2008.

Christine Beddoe, Director
020 7233 9887 or 07906 341 889

Hannah Pearce, Policy & Advocacy Manager
020 7233 9887 or


Copyright © ECPAT UK 2015.

Charity number: 1104948. Company Ltd by Guarantee: 5061385.
4A Chillingworth Road, London N7 8QJ. 
Tel: 020 7607 2136. Fax: 020 7700 5435.


Want to learn more about ECPAT UK and the work we do? Sign up to our regular e-news bulletin:


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

Latest updates

Governments must make good global promises on child labour

12th June 2017

ECPAT UK is calling on governments across the world to honour the commitment to eradicate child labour on global World Day Against Child Labour (12th June).

On this global…

Mayor of London prioritises anti-trafficking efforts

3 May 2017

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime have answered calls from NGOs to outline their plans to strengthen London’s response to human trafficking, after a staggering…

Record number of UK child trafficking cases reported in 2016

3 April 2017

Child trafficking referrals increased by 30% to 1,278 in 2016, the highest on record according to the latest figures from the National Crime Agency. 

The National…

New ECPAT UK project: Local authorities supported to innovate child trafficking responses

31 March 2017

ECPAT UK has been selected by the government to deliver an innovative project aimed at improving the local response to child trafficking and all forms of modern slavery and exploitation.

#LostinMigration exposes desperate circumstances for lone migrant children in Europe

1 March 2017

An influential coalition of children’s’ rights charities, including ECPAT UK, have today called on EU and national ministers to end the disappearance, suffering…

British child abuser guilty of 45 crimes against Thai and UK children

01 February 2017

Serial child abuser, and retired English teacher, Mark Frost, formerly Andrew Tracey, has pleaded guilty to 45 counts of rape and sexual assault of children in the UK and Thailand,…