Office move

We have relocated! Our new office address is: 

ECPAT UK
Thomas Clarkson House
The Stable Yard
Broomgrove Road
London
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

 

Protection needs of child victims overlooked in draft Modern Slavery Bill

16 December 2013

ECPAT UK, a leading children’s rights charity, today called the Home Secretary’s Modern Slavery Bill an important first step in streamlining anti-trafficking law but expressed concerns that the draft legislation has not adequately reflected the immediate protection needs of child victims of trafficking.

While welcoming the Government’s commitment to introducing legislation and policy to combat human trafficking and modern slavery, ECPAT UK said that the narrow focus of the Modern Slavery Bill omitted several vital measures to keep trafficked children safe.Notable amongst the omissions in the Bill were a system of legal guardianship for child victims of trafficking, a specific offence of child trafficking to reflect the severity of the crime and a non-criminalisation clause to protect victims forced to commit crimes by their traffickers.

Supporters of ECPAT UK’s campaign to protect trafficked children in the Modern Slavery Bill were, however, able to celebrate the inclusion of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner to collect data and hold the Government to account for its progress against human trafficking and modern slavery -- though further scrutiny is still required to ensure that the commissioner is independent.

One of the most glaring omissions in the Bill was the failure to introduce a legal system of guardianship for all child victims of trafficking.

The fact that 60% of all trafficked children go missing from care once they have been identified by British authorities is a clear indication that the Government must improve its child victim protection record.

In her evidence submission to the Modern Slavery Bill review, undertaken prior to the Bill’s launch, Chloe Setter, Head of Advocacy, Policy and Campaigns, ECPAT UK, said:

“Since child victims of trafficking may still be under the control of their traffickers, specialist child guardians would help to sever these ties, as well as encourage integration into society, navigate the child through the complex processes by attending all key meetings, be someone they can call upon for advice and challenge public authorities when they fail.”

ECPAT UK widely welcomed the Report of the Modern Slavery Bill Evidence Review, released alongside the draft Bill, which supported ECPAT UK’s campaign calls with recommendations for a legal system of guardianship, a non-criminalisation clause for victims of trafficking and a specific child trafficking offence.

Bharti Patel, CEO, ECPAT UK, said:  “The Home Secretary and the Security Minister are acutely aware of the pervasive abuse vulnerable children and adults are subjected to through the crimes of human trafficking and modern slavery.

“In its current state, the Bill emphasises the criminal element of trafficking at the expense of the immediate needs of thousands of victims of trafficking and modern slavery, including hundreds of children. While it is vital for the Government to improve its conviction rates for trafficking and exploitation, without the safety, protection and assistance of victims, convictions under the Bill will remain low.”

ECPAT UK will continue to campaign for the inclusion of these measures as the Bill passes through legislative scrutiny before becoming law in May 2014.

About ECPAT UK

ECPAT UK is a leading children’s rights charity working on the issues of child exploitation and child trafficking. It is active in campaigning and lobbying Government, producing research, training frontline professionals and working with young victims of trafficking. www.ecpat.org.uk

About our campaign

ECPAT UK has partnered with Walk Free to campaign for better protections for child victims of trafficking in the Modern Slavery Bill. Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to end one of the world's greatest evils: modern slavery. The campaign calls on the Home Secretary to introduce the following provisions in the Modern Slavery Bill:

  • 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

Sign the petition here

ShareThis

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. info@ecpat.org.uk.

 
 

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

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

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,…