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Press releases archive


Press releases

US TIP Report: UK still failing many child trafficking victims

29 July 2015

The 2015 TIP report The UK should improve its response to child trafficking and provide more specialist services for children who have been trafficked, the US State Department has said.

According to the influential Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report: “While (UK) authorities continued to identify a large number of potential trafficking victims, the victim identification and referral system failed to assist many victims of trafficking, particularly children.”

ECPAT UK has welcomed the report’s recommendations, including improvements to “multi-stakeholder oversight and specialised services for child victims,” following criticism about the response to child trafficking in the UK and concerns over the number of trafficked children who go missing from care.

More than 10,000 children 'at risk' because 91% of UK adults don't know what private fostering is

A poll commissioned by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) has revealed that 91% of the UK adult population don’t know what private fostering is. BAAF and ECPAT UK are concerned that more than 10,000 children may be at risk because carers and members of the public don’t know they need to notify their local authority about private fostering arrangements.

Charities launch damning report on children's rights in the UK

CRAE reportChildren’s charities, including ECPAT UK, today (Wednesday 1st July) launched a damning report highlighting how Government policies and spending decisions have failed to prioritise children, including child victims of trafficking.

Based on the evidence in the report, children's charities are asking the Government to put children at the centre of decision-making, including in the forthcoming Budget.

British sex abuser sentenced for crimes against children abroad

18 June 2015

British national Bartle Frere has been sentenced for 12 years and 6 months for child abuse offences in India and the UK, marking an important step towards achieving justice for children exploited by British nationals overseas.

In October 2014, Frere, 50, a former pilot with British Airways, was convicted for a string of sexual offences against children in the UK, India and other countries.

The offences, dating back to 2000, include sexually assaulting a British boy, possessing indecent photographs of Ukrainian boys, making indecent images of boys in India and arranging or facilitating the abuse of boys in India.

Second Nepal earthquake increases child trafficking threat

13 May 2015

Nepal appealECPAT UK and other children’s rights organisations have today warned of the increased risk of child trafficking in Nepal, after another devastating earthquake hit the region Tuesday morning.

Since the first earthquake on 25th April – which killed an estimated 8,000 people and directly affected 1.7 million children – tens of thousands of young women and children have been reportedly targeted by human traffickers ready to supply a network of brothels across South Asia.

ECPAT UK has joined the urgent appeal for help, calling on supporters to raise vital resources for grassroots organisations working in Nepal to meet the needs of local children.

ECPAT International celebrates 25 years of protecting children

5th May 2015

ECPAT International, the umbrella organisation for ECPAT UK and 84 other children’s rights organisations across the world, is today celebrating 25 years of protecting children from exploitation.

Enshrine compensation rights for children exploited online, campaigners say

2 April 2015

The 2014 Digital Manifesto for online child rightsA new Digital Manifesto for online child safety, supported by ECPAT UK, has called on the UK Government to enshrine the right for children to claim compensation for sexual abuse online. 

Signatories have also called on all major parties to support new powers to hold internet companies and other corporate bodies to account for upholding online child safety.

Published by the Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety, the Digital Manifesto sets out an extensive set of policies and recommendations to improve online child protection in the areas of online safety education, policing, public accountability and support for professionals.

Campaigners celebrate Modern Slavery Act success

Parliament26th March 2015

ECPAT UK today heralded the passage of historic legislation to protect victims of modern slavery, forced labour and child exploitation but warned there is still much work to do to stamp out human trafficking in the UK and across the world.

The Modern Slavery Act (England & Wales) received royal assent in Parliament today – the culmination of years of campaigning by ECPAT UK and other anti-trafficking organisations to improve protection of victims and strengthen criminal laws against crimes of modern slavery.

UK failure to monitor sex offenders threatens children everywhere

10 March 2015

A report revealing that nearly 400 sex offenders have disappeared “off the radar” of UK law enforcement highlights the UK’s continuing failure to prevent child sexual abuse, according to leading children’s rights charity ECPAT UK.

The revelations magnify the significant harm posed to children abroad by UK offenders who flee the country and abuse children in countries where child protection systems are weak or non-existent.

ECPAT UK said today that the report calls into question the Government’s commitment to “ensuring the system is as robust as possible”, adding that it demonstrates systemic failures to manage sex offenders and prevent them from moving around in the UK or leaving the UK and travelling to countries to abuse vulnerable children with impunity.

UPDATE: UK offender Simon Harris sentenced to 17 years on child sexual abuse charges

9 March 2015

ECPAT UK has welcomed the sentencing of British national Simon Harris to 17 years and four months in prison for sexually abusing children while working in Kenya. Harris, a former public school teacher and overseas charity executive, was found guilty of seven sexual offences against children in Kenya by Birmingham Crown Court in December 2014.

Bharti Patel, CEO of ECPAT UK, said of the conviction under rarely used sexual offences legislation: “The sentence imposed on Simon Harris illustrates the severity of the offences of which he has been convicted. We welcome the strong stance the UK courts have taken in this case. Bringing Simon Harris to justice, finally, following abuse against vulnerable children in the UK and Kenya in the 80s and 90s, is a positive outcome and we commend the justice system here in the UK.

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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