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Press releases archive


Press releases

ECPAT UK launches national anti-trafficking initiative for foster carers

1 October 2016

ECPAT UK trainingThe Department for Education has enlisted ECPAT UK and the Refugee Council to train foster carers and support workers across England to improve the care of separated children seeking asylum and child victims of trafficking. 

The training programme has been established in response to record increases in the numbers of child trafficking victims in the UK and disturbing trends in the numbers of separated children going missing from care. 

ECPAT UK and its partners will deliver 60 four-hour interactive training courses to foster carers and accommodation support workers across England, equipping participants with the knowledge and tools to respond to the challenges and risks facing unaccompanied and trafficked children.

The course is free and professionals are encouraged to book early to guarantee a place on this in-demand event. CLICK HERE to register for the training.

ECPAT UK's new e-learning course on child trafficking and modern slavery

ECPAT e-learning course on child traffickingECPAT UK has launched a new e-learning course for all professionals who may come into contact with children, young people or adults who have been trafficked. 

Designed in partnership with award winning e-learning provider Virtual College, the course supports frontline staff to meet their professional safeguarding responsibilities and recognise the rights of child and adult victims of trafficking.

Learners will be taken on an interactive journey to examine and understand different types of exploitation, how individuals become victims to abuse and what actions professionals should take to identify victims and help them.


Convicted Dorset offender raped and abused children in the Philippines

10 August 2016

UK travelling offenders are rarely convicted under extra-territorial lawECPAT UK has welcomed the conviction of Dorset abuser, David Shepherd, on 13 charges of child sexual abuse in the Philippines. 

The leading children’s rights charity commended local Dorset Police for pursuing the extra-territorial case to its conclusion and helping secure conviction on counts including the rape of a child under 13 and taking indecent photographs of a child. 

ECPAT UK said UK leaders must follow the lead of local investigators and act swiftly to reverse their astonishingly low rates of monitoring, prosecuting and convicting UK offenders who travel abroad and sexually abuse children.

UK laws fail to stop Britons sexually abusing children abroad

12 July 2016

Children are at risk to sexual exploitationA new ECPAT UK expert paper has said that UK legislation is largely ineffective to protect children abroad from travelling UK sex offenders.

Despite the UK's strengthened legal powers to combat child sexual exploitation, children abroad remain acutely vulnerable to UK travelling abusers, the paper argues, due to weak extraterritorial provisions and limited UK investigative collaboration with EU and international law enforcement.

The paper, entitled Developments in the UK’s Response to Child Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation, calls for strengthened multi-agency international cooperation, mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse offences by UK offenders abroad and the establishment of a national investigation unit to tackle extraterritorial child sexual abuse. 


Scaling mountains to fight child trafficking

HEG1For the second year running, two teams from internet hosting provider HEG completed the daunting Ben Nevis Challenge to raise thousands of pounds for ECPAT UK's work to tackle child exploitation and trafficking in the UK and overseas.

The teams took part in three challenges: climbing the UK’s highest peak, Ben Nevis (1,343m), biking 25 miles and canoeing 2km along Loch Lochy.

Wake-up call needed over abuse of children abroad, ECPAT UK warns

British national Richard Huckle is seen after his arrest on multiple charges of sexual abuse of children in an image handed out by Britain's National Crime Agency June 2, 2016.    NCA/Handout via REUTERSECPAT UK is urgently calling for better protection for children abroad from British sex offenders, following the trial of a Kent man who investigators believe abused hundreds of children, mostly those from poor communities in Malaysia.

Richard Huckle, 30, admitted 71 child sex offence charges committed against victims aged between six months and 12 years old between 2006 and 2014, which involved the abuse of 23 children in Kuala Lumpur. More than 20,000 child abuse images were found on his computer. 

No country immune to child sexual exploitation, study finds

12 May 2016

ECPAT global studyMore children are at risk of sexual exploitation than ever before, particularly in travel and tourism, a two-year global study by ECPAT has revealed today. 

The report, entitled Offenders on the Move: Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism 2016, has found that an increase in global tourism and improved accessibility of information technology have escalated the threat of sexual exploitation in every country in the world.

Children in the UK and Europe, long seen as source countries for travelling child sex offenders, have also experienced an increased risk of sexual abuse by foreign and in-country travelling offenders.

Europe’s child protection shortcomings could deepen unaccompanied children crisis

4 May 2016

Children's clothes at a refugee campSerious shortcomings in the identification of and support for unaccompanied and trafficked children across the UK and Europe continue to endanger thousands of vulnerable young people, a leading children’s rights charity has said today.

In a written evidence statement, ECPAT UK said unaccompanied children in Europe, already placed in precarious conditions of what one charity has described as “absolute desperation”, are at an increased risk of trafficking, exploitation and missing due to a host of pan-European child protection failures.

A lack of a coordinated response and the failure to systematically collect data on and identify trafficked and unaccompanied children means there is little understanding of these risks, leaving children deprived of rights that could assist to protect them and create durable solutions for their futures.

British Airways to compensate children sexually abused by pilot

14 March 2016

Stop child sexual abuse in tourism Thirty eight children and young adults will be compensated by British Airways for sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of notorious child abuser and British Airways pilot, Simon Wood.

During British Airways stopovers in Kenya and Uganda between 2001 and 2013, Wood abused children and young women when they were aged between four and eighteen in schools and orphanages. 

ECPAT UK, a leading children’s rights charity campaigning for two decades to stop transnational child sexual abuse and child trafficking, welcomed the decision by British Airways to settle the claim and called on business to strengthen child protection policies to identify and prevent child sexual abuse, child trafficking and modern slavery associated with their operations overseas.

Trafficking victims who have children are “systematically overlooked”, new report says

23 February 2016

ATMG report on victims of trafficking who are pregnant or who have childrenVictims of trafficking who are pregnant or have children are ‘systematically overlooked’ in the UK’s anti-trafficking response, according to a new report by the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group (ATMG), a coalition of twelve UK-based charities, including ECPAT UK. 

According to the report, entitled Time to deliver, victims of trafficking who are pregnant or who have children do not have access to specialist support, including safe and appropriate accommodation, childcare, specialist healthcare and support for their children.

Pregnancy and parenthood can have a profound impact on the physical and psychological wellbeing of trafficking victims. For some women, particularly those whose pregnancy is as a result of rape, their child may be a constant reminder of their past exploitation.

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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