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Press releases archive


Press releases 2013

Withdrawal from Europe would weaken human trafficking fight, Deputy Prime Minister warns

8 October 2013

Deputy Prime Minister Nick CleggDeputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, in a speech today, reaffirmed his commitment to British membership in the European Union and warned that a weakened relationship with the continent would derail efforts to curb serious organised crime, including human trafficking.

Leading children’s rights charity ECPAT UK welcomed this key admission in the Deputy Prime Minister’s speech, reiterating the organisation’s own 20-year call for transnational cooperation and British leadership to protect child victims of trafficking and exploitation.

Trafficked children need better protection, says new report

12 September 2013

Still at riskA Home Office-backed study, published today, has echoed ECPAT UK’s long-standing call for a system of guardianship for trafficked children, highlighting serious concerns over the provision of care and support to children who have been exploited in the UK.

The 'Still at Risk' review of support for trafficked children, launched today, has documented a wide range of difficulties that children experience, in particular the lack of an independent trusted adult – or guardian – to ensure each child understands what is happening to them, is engaged in decisions affecting them and has their rights upheld.

Children interviewed for the research reported feeling confused by the complex processes they were engaged with – for example, immigration, care and criminal justice systems – and this was only exacerbated by language barriers, poor or sometimes incorrect legal advice, and a failure by specialists to spend adequate time to inform and guide children.

Report shows substantial increase in number of trafficked children

30 August 2013

UKHTC 2013 AssessmentThe number of children identified as victims of trafficking in the UK has increased for the second year in a row, according to a new UK Human Trafficking Centre report.

ECPAT UK, a leading children’s rights charity working on issues of child trafficking and child sexual exploitation, has called the report a welcome acknowledgement of the growing scale of the issue, but has warned that it is also an indication of the Government’s continued failure to make the UK a safe place for children.

In 2012 alone, according to ‘UKHTC: A Strategic Assessment on the Nature and Scale of Human Trafficking in 2012’, there was a 12% increase in the number of children identified as potential victims of trafficking for the purposes of exploitation, a total of 549. Overall, the report identified 2,255 potential victims of human trafficking in the UK, up from 2,077 in 2011.

ECPAT International wins world’s largest humanitarian prize

1 August 2013

ECPAT International network

ECPAT International has been awarded $1.5 million from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in recognition of its pioneering work to end child sexual exploitation.

A prestigious prize jury, including Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and Princess Salimah Aga Khan, selected the child protection organisation over more than 200 nominees working to alleviate human suffering.

“Each year 1.2 million children have their childhoods stolen from them by unscrupulous traffickers and pimps, generating a $12 billion global market,” said Steven M. Hilton, president and CEO of the Hilton Foundation. “ECPAT’s work has been pivotal in mobilising the international community to stop this evil commerce that does such harm to our children.”

Government proposes new online child protection measures

22 July 2013

David Cameron Search engines and internet service providers were today told to clamp down on online child abuse images, as part of Government plans to improve its online child protection record.

In a speech at the NSPCC, the Prime Minister also announced more support for the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to monitor hidden virtual child abuse image cells.

The announcement arrives only weeks after the Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS) called on the Government to drastically improve its efforts to curb online child abuse image crimes. As a key member of CHIS, ECPAT UK has consistently urged the Government to uphold its responsibilities to children, by identifying and prosecuting perpetrators of online abuse and protecting child victims.

New Chair elected for All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking

Fiona Mactaggart MPFiona Mactaggart MP, the Labour MP for Slough, has become the new Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking.

ECPAT UK congratulates the former Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, who has been a strong parliamentary advocate for anti-trafficking issues, with a particular interest in tackling the sexual exploitation of women and girls.

ECPAT UK submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child

5 July 2013

ECPAT UK has highlighted concerns over the protection of child victims of trafficking and those exploited in travel and tourism in a report submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, a body of independent experts that monitors the UK’s implementation of the human rights standard, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In a joint report with the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, ECPAT UK raised issues over the lack of legal guardianship for children who have been trafficked and the large number of trafficked children going missing from local authority care, as well as the need for an independent Anti-Trafficking Commissioner to ensure accurate data collection and to monitor the Government’s response to tackling child trafficking.

New technologies are putting more children at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse by UK nationals, report warns

2 July 2013

Threat Assessment of Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (TACSEA)UK nationals have again been implicated in the sexual exploitation and abuse of children online and overseas, according to the latest annual Threat Assessment of Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse report by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre. 

The report, which examines current and emerging threats posed to children in the UK from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, highlights the fact that many are using new technologies such as live streaming and “hidden portals” to exploit vulnerable children overseas without ever leaving the UK.

Europe-wide parliamentarian coalition to declare shared commitment to tackling human trafficking

26 June 2013

Up to one hundred participants, including parliamentarians, from across Europe will convene in the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest on 26th and 27th June to declare their shared commitment to tackling human trafficking.

The declaration will serve as the capstone to the final conference of Parliamentarians Against Human Trafficking (PAHT), a two-year anti-trafficking project led by ECPAT UK and the Human Trafficking Foundation.

With increased public awareness of the many transnational crimes of human trafficking, the PAHT project has sought to establish an EU-wide network of parliamentarians better positioned to campaign for national-level responses to these pressing issues.

Victims of trafficking win appeals against convictions

21 June 2013

ECPAT UK and Anti-Slavery International are pleased that the Court of Criminal Appeal has today sent out a clear message that no one should be prosecuted of crimes committed as a consequence of being trafficked.

The Court has quashed four convictions of people trafficked into the UK for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers. Three of them were Vietnamese children forced to work in cannabis factories. The fourth was a woman in her thirties from Uganda who was trafficked for sexual exploitation who was prosecuted on the charge of using a false passport.

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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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