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Press releases archive


On the Safe Side report launched

On the Safe Side coverECPAT UK has launched its On the Safe Side report, which details 10 principles for the safe accommodation of child victims of trafficking.

The report was launched at an event at City Hall, London, which was organised by the London Safeguarding Children Board and Greater London authority to promote the updated London child trafficking toolkit.

Speaking at the event was the deputy mayor of London, Richard Barnes, and ECPAT UK’s director, Christine Beddoe, who launched On the Safe Side and told delegates why it was so urgently needed.

On the Safe Side was written following structured face-to-face interviews and a roundtable discussion with a range of relevant professionals, including local authority children’s services, the police, NGOs, and organisations accommodating child victims of trafficking.

Through this research, ECPAT UK identified that there are no commonly agreed safety and protection standards across the UK for the placement of children who are suspected or known to be trafficked.

In light of this, ECPAT UK believes that child victims and/or suspected child victims of trafficking are not receiving the protection of safe accommodation that their complex psychological, emotional and physical needs demand and is in line with legislation.

One grave consequence of this has shown to be that these children disappear without any trace and little chance of being found again. For example, ECPAT UK’s 2007 report Missing Out: A Study of Child Trafficking in the North-West, North-East and West Midlands found that of 80 reported cases of child victims of trafficking accommodated by local authorities in these areas, 60% had gone missing from social services care and not been found. 

Only last month, Kent County Council admitted that 25 children aged 12-17, who were suspected of having been trafficked, had disappeared from its care.

On the Safe Side is a vital resource for those providing accommodation for child victims of trafficking and acts as a clear, easily accessible guide to safe accommodation that is aimed to reduce the number of child victims of trafficking going missing from local authority care.

It brings together a wealth of research so that practitioners are able to successfully meet the required standards of safe accommodation, while taking into account the complex needs of a child victim of trafficking, putting the child at the heart of the model.

‘It’s like, every time I have a meeting I have to cry. Every time, any meeting I have in foster home, I have to cry because I am too scared and I cannot explain what is inside me, what I am going through and all I know is just to cry’ (Young person, ECPAT UK Youth Group, on her experience of Social Services)

Download On the Safe Side here.


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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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