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Press releases archive


Press releases 2012

William Hague addresses historic anti-trafficking conference

Houses of Parliament16 October 2012

William Hague MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, today opened a groundbreaking conference at the Houses of Parliament that looks at how European countries are tackling the growing crime of human trafficking.

Members from 17 national parliaments, NGO representatives, law enforcement practitioners and business community leaders are coming together for a two-day conference to share good practice on improving effective cooperation across the EU in the fight against trafficking ahead of the UK’s third national Anti-Slavery Day on 18 October 2012.

Portuguese Parliament hosts PAHT seminar on human trafficking

The PAHT project held its latest seminar in the Portuguese Parliament from 13-14 September 2012.

Involving MPs and NGOs from eight EU countries, the seminar was organised in cooperation with the Portuguese Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Equality.

The seminar was opened by Anthony Steen, Chairman of the Human Trafficking Foundation, and Elza Pais, Chairwoman of the Sub-Committee on Equality. Ms Pais stated that trafficking is firmly on the agenda of the Portuguese Parliament and that Portugal takes a zero-tolerance approach to tackling the problem.

UK should appoint legal guardians to child victims of trafficking, says Council of Europe report

13 September 2012

British flagThe Government should appoint a legal guardian to all unaccompanied children in the UK, according to a report by the Council of Europe (CoE), strengthening ECPAT UK’s five-year long campaign call for a system of guardianship for child victims of trafficking. 

The CoE’s GRETA (Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking), in its first assessment of human trafficking in the UK, quoted our Watch over me report, stating: “A system of guardianship is essential to ensure the children’s protection and rehabilitation, assist in severing links with traffickers and minimise the risk of children going missing.”

New child trafficking figures are ‘tip of the iceberg’

24 August 2012

Baseline Assessment 2011 coverThe Government has released its ‘Baseline Assessment on the Nature and Scale of Human Trafficking in 2011’ – which it claims is the first time an attempt has been made to describe the full extent of human trafficking in the UK.

ECPAT UK welcomes the UK Human Trafficking Centre’s (UKHTC) publication, which adds to our collective knowledge on human trafficking, but has serious concerns about the quality of the data used to support the report.

UK Government closes the ‘three-day loophole’ on overseas travel by British sex offenders

13 August 2012

ECPAT UK welcomes the Government’s closure of a legislative loophole that will help to protect children abroad and at home from sexual abuse by British sex offenders.

The so-called ‘three-day loophole’ in the Sexual Offences Act (2003), which allowed registered British sex offenders to travel abroad for up to three days without having to notify the authorities of their intention to do so, has officially closed today.

New parliamentary report on children who go missing from care published

18 June 2012
ECPAT UK today welcomes the publication of a parliamentary report which highlights the plight of child victims of trafficking who go missing from care.

 The report was drafted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults and the APPG for Looked After Children and Care Leavers following their parliamentary inquiry into the care and support received by children who go missing from care in England.

Forced marriage to become a criminal offence

8 June 2012
Forcing someone to marry will become a criminal offence in England and Wales, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced.

The decision to make forced marriage an offence follows a 12-week consultation, to which ECPAT UK submitted its response, focusing on children who are trafficked for forced marriage into and out of the UK.

Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group assesses trafficking prevention in the UK

All Change coverThe Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group (ATMG), of which ECPAT UK is a member, has released a new report that examines trafficking prevention in the UK in accordance with the UK Government’s obligations under the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

Children trafficked for cannabis cultivation need protection not prosecution

Cannabis plant1 May 2012
High numbers of children, largely from South East Asia, are trafficked to the UK to work in cannabis farms, robbed of their freedom and subject to violence and hazardous conditions. Therefore, it is of great concern to ECPAT UK that police have reported a sharp rise in the number of cannabis farms discovered in the UK.

Romanian family jailed over trafficking of seven-year-old girl

Aurel-Ilie ZlateAlexandra Oaie


Jailed: Traffickers Aurel-Ilie Zlate (l) and Alexandra Oaie (r) (c) Metropolitan Police Service

20 April 2012

The jailing of four members of a family who trafficked a seven-year-old girl into London to be their domestic slave has highlighted the very real existence of child trafficking in the UK.

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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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