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Press releases archive


Press releases 2014

Inadequate response by UK Government to sexual abuse of children by British nationals overseas

27 September 2014

The persistence of British offenders implicated in, and convicted of, sexual abuse of children abroad raises serious questions over the UK Government’s response to transnational child abuse, leading children’s rights charity ECPAT UK has said on World Tourism Day.   

Recent Government figures, published in Hansard (21 July 2014), show an increase in the numbers of British nationals convicted of sexual offences against children within the EU and outside the EU, as notified to the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Criminal Records Office (ACRO).

ECPAT UK speaks out on modern slavery in Government film campaign

16 September 2014

“Modern slavery is closer than you think”, a new Government film campaign featuring ECPAT UK has warned. 

The film enlists leading children’s charities and human rights defenders, including ECPAT UK, to encourage professionals and the public to recognise the signs to help stop modern slavery and trafficking in the UK.

Child victims file landmark claim against abuser’s employer

30 July 2014 

Pilot Simon Wood is alleged to have abused children during stopovers in East Africa.British Airways should be liable for abuses against children carried out by British pilot Simon Wood through charitable activities sponsored by the airline in East Africa, leading law firm Leigh Day has said today.

The pending case is lauded as a watershed moment for the rights of child victims abused by British nationals abroad to seek justice and reparations through British courts. 

Coalition of charities publishes Alternative Modern Slavery Bill

22nd July 2014

Influential anti-trafficking NGO coalitionThe UK Government’s claim that it will produce a ‘world-leading Modern Slavery Bill’ has been challenged by a group of leading anti-trafficking charities, including ECPAT UK, who today published an ‘Alternative Bill’ highlighting deficiencies in the legislation.

The influential Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group (ATMG), led by NGOs representing the interests of children and adult victims of trafficking and modern-day slavery, is proposing alternate legislation, with assistance from a group of expert lawyers, in order to assist Parliament in strengthening the Modern Slavery Bill that is currently before Parliament.

Court says legal aid residence test proposals are 'unlawful'

Legal Aid Reforms15 July 2014

A court has today stated that the Government’s plans to introduce a ‘residence test’ for civil legal aid is unlawful, following a hard-hitting campaign supported by ECPAT UK.

In today’s judgement, a specially convened  three-judge Divisional court unanimously said the proposals, to prevent those who could not prove 12 months’ lawful residence in the UK from accessing legal aid, amounted to unlawful discrimination and said the Lord Chancellor did not have the legal power to introduce such a test.

Guardianship fundamental to child protection systems across Europe, says expert agency

8 July 2014

Guardianship helps curb trafficking and abuseA leading EU human rights body, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), has released guidance supporting improved guardianship systems across the European Union. The handbook recognises the vital role guardians play in protecting all children from trafficking, abuse and exploitation, citing guardianship systems as fundamental to improving Member State child protection strategies.

ECPAT UK influenced the production of the guidance, accepting an invitation from the FRA to join influential non-governmental organisations (NGOs), practitioners and representatives of responsible authorities in discussions on the draft documents.

Inadequate support for children abused by British nationals abroad, ECPAT UK roundtable finds

Hugh Davies discusses the UK's response to child sexual abuse in tourismOn 4 June 2014, ECPAT UK, as part of its work on transnational child abuse, brought together national and international experts recognised for their work on human rights of child victims of abuse, child trafficking and abusive images of children to discuss the issue of justice and support for children who are victims of abuse by British nationals travelling or residing outside the UK.

The seminar revealed the challenges in the UK’s response to victim protection in other jurisdictions, particularly with regard to identification and protection of victims during the investigation and prosecution process and beyond. Discussions focused on necessary measures to ensure that child victims of abuse by UK nationals in other jurisdictions receive the support and assistance they require for their rehabilitation, restitution and compensation.

Improved Modern Slavery Bill introduced but vital protections for children still missing

10 June 2014

Under new UK legislation, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery will receive protection from prosecution for crimes they are forced to commit.

ECPAT UK has welcomed the introduction of the Modern Slavery Bill in Parliament today but warned that it must go further to protect trafficked children and meet the Home Secretary’s aim of ridding the UK of the ‘scourge of modern slavery’.

The legislation pledges to protect victims of human trafficking from crimes they were compelled to commit by their traffickers, echoing the calls of the more than 70,000 supporters of ECPAT UK’s Modern Slavery Bill campaign launched in December 2013 in partnership with Walk Free.

ECPAT UK hosts conference on trafficking for forced criminality in London

5th June 2014

RACELondonECPAT UK, as part of the ground-breaking RACE in Europe Project, hosted a European training seminar for frontline practitioners from 12 countries on the issue of forced criminality and forced begging in London on 28th to 30th May.

Trafficking experts from the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania, France, Denmark, Norway, Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria took part in the first event of its kind in the UK. 

Queen’s Speech promises legislation to tackle modern-day slavery

4th June 2014

The Queen has today promised that new anti-slavery and anti-trafficking legislation will help to improve prosecutions of traffickers and will improve support for their victims.

In her final Queen’s Speech before the General Election, the Queen announced that the new legislation, the Modern Slavery Bill, would improve ‘support for victims of such crimes’, signalling the Government has listened to the campaign calls of ECPAT UK and other experts: victim protection must be central to any legislation to tackle modern-day slavery. 

Copyright © ECPAT UK 2015.

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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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