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


Lord McColl of Dulwich is ECPAT UK’s 2015 Children’s Champion

22 December 2015

ECPAT UK has today recognised leading Parliamentary children’s rights advocate Lord McColl with its 2015 Children’s Champion award. 

As an active member of the House of Lords, Lord McColl has shown immense leadership in advancing the rights of trafficked children during his time in Parliament, helping spearhead calls for a system of legal independent guardianship for child victims of trafficking. 

For more than a decade, Lord McColl has raised his concerns about the lack of specialist support for trafficked children in the UK, tabling amendments to provide child victims of trafficking a legal guardian in several bills, including the Protection of Freedoms Bill (2012), the Children & Families Bill (2013) and the Immigration Bill (2014). In 2010, he tabled a private members bill for a standalone trafficking bill containing a clause for independent child advocates, recognising the specific needs of these vulnerable children.

His speech back in 2012 during a debate on his Protection of Freedoms Bill amendment for child guardians sums up his understanding of the complexities of child trafficking and the need for improved protection:

“The reality of trafficked children is that they are extremely vulnerable and need appropriate and specialist support once rescued from their situation of exploitation. It is an incredibly sad reflection on our priorities as a nation that we should take such poor care of these extremely vulnerable children. First, they are kidnapped or lured under false pretences and trafficked to the United Kingdom, from a foreign country with a foreign language, usually far away from their families. Then they are rescued and all too often while in local authority care they are lost, probably re-trafficked. I find it hard to conceive that we are not doing more to help these children.”

Sadly, in the years that followed, despite campaigning and pressure from ECPAT UK and children’s charities, and leading Parliamentarians such as Lord McColl, this message went unheeded – until 2015. When the Modern Slavery Bill was announced in 2013, Lord McColl once again sought to promote guardianship for trafficked children and tabled key amendments.

His passionate speeches helped secure a successful vote in the House of Lords, which, in turn, helped lead to provision in the new Act for ‘Child Trafficking Advocates’ for England and Wales – a major step forward in ECPAT UK’s decade-long campaign for a system of guardianship for trafficked children that was supported by 80,000 of our supporters. However, last week the Government announced it would not yet commence the provisions in the Modern Slavery Act to provide each trafficked child with an independent advocate. Despite the setback, ECPAT UK, and its supporters, said it would continue to campaign for prompt implementation of the clause.   

Accepting the award in the House of Lords, Lord McColl said: “I am humbled and honoured to receive this award in what has been a momentous year in the fight against exploitation and trafficking. The Modern Slavery Act has laid a great foundation for protecting these exceptionally vulnerable children, but it is only a first step. We must continue to develop our systems of care to ensure all trafficked children receive the support and protection that they most desperately need.

“I commend ECPAT UK for their excellent work supporting and giving a voice to trafficked children. Our recent achievements in Parliament owe a great deal to the many charities who have informed and supported us over many years.”

Bharti Patel, CEO, ECPAT UK, said: “We are delighted to present the 2015 Children’s Champion award to Lord McColl. He has demonstrated a near unparalleled commitment to advancing the rights of child victims of trafficking in Parliament over many years, ensuring that the specific plight of exploited children did not go unheard.

We thank him for his dedication to this important cause. ECPAT UK now looks forward to working with Lord McColl and other Parliamentarians to ensure the Government honours its commitment to ensure all trafficked and at-risk children in the UK are able to benefit from the protection of an independent advocate.”


ECPAT UK is a leading children's rights organisation campaigning to protect children from child trafficking and transnational child sexual abuse. We support children everywhere to uphold their rights and to live a life free from abuse and exploitation.

About the ECPAT UK Children's Champion Award 

The ECPAT UK Children’s Champion Award is an annual award presented to one individual who has shown outstanding commitment to children. Past winners include: 

  • Kalvir Kaur, a leading children’s solicitor and former Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year who has specialised in cases of trafficked children
  • Paul Hewitt, former head of Child Safeguarding at Hillingdon Council, who was instrumental in addressing the needs of child victims of trafficking and unaccompanied children in Hillingdon and at Heathrow Airport
  • Nadine Finch, barrister and leading children’s rights advocate who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to children’s rights
  • The Row for Freedom team of five young women who gained two world records by rowing unaided across the Atlantic Ocean to raise awareness of child trafficking and funds for our work
  • The Metropolitan Police’s Operation Golf, which led the first joint operation with Romanian police to uncover the trafficking of children for benefit fraud and street crime in the UK

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,…