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Press releases archive


Press releases

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. 

Intrepid cyclists in 270 mile bid to support ECPAT UK

Lexis Nexis Cycle Challenge Lexis Nexis UK have organised a London to Paris Cycle Challenge to raise vital funds to strengthen ECPAT UK's work against child trafficking and transnational child abuse.

Last year, a team of cyclists completed the 270 mile trek between the neighbouring capital cities on the way to raising more than £22,000 to be shared between ECPAT UK and two other charities.

Can you help us surpass this goal this year? CLICK here to donate.

Please act now - join our campaign to stop the sexual abuse of children in tourism

Act now - stop the sexual abuse of children in tourismECPAT UK has launched a campaign calling on the UK Foreign Secretary to help stop the sexual abuse of children in tourism by British nationals. 

The campaign initially called for action on the urgent issue of child sexual exploitation at the Brazil World Cup, before expanding the focus to other areas of high incidence of child exploitation and abuse by UK nationals, including Southeast Asia, East Africa and South America.

Sign here to add your name to the growing group of people committed to protecting vulnerable children everywhere.

Joint Committee backs ECPAT UK’s campaign calls for Modern Slavery Bill

8 April 2014

Joint Committee backs ECPAT UK campaignThe Joint Committee on the Draft Modern Slavery Bill, appointed to report to Parliament on the proposed legislation, has backed all four of ECPAT UK’s campaign calls to strengthen new legislation in the fight against child trafficking.

ECPAT UK provided both written and oral evidence to the Joint Committee explaining why child victims of trafficking require improved protection and support based on our many years of experience of working with victims who have been failed, criminalised or faced a ‘culture of disbelief’ when encountering public authorities, despite the horrific abuse they have suffered.

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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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British child abuser guilty of 45 crimes against Thai and UK children

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