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Press releases archive


Press releases

House of Lords votes in favour of guardianship for trafficked children

7 April 2014
House of LordsThe House of Lords has today passed an amendment in the Immigration Bill that marks a hugely significant step in ECPAT UK’s campaign to secure a system of independent, legal guardianship for trafficked children.

ECPAT UK, along with other experts, has long argued that such a statutory system would curb the high risk to trafficked children of re-trafficking and abuse, whilst providing a trusted person who has legal responsibility for the child and can act in their best interests, as a parent would.

UPDATE: British national jailed for two years in Cambodia for abuse of three boys

25 March 2014

British sex offender jailed for two years in CambodiaECPAT UK today has welcomed the sentencing of Richard Fruin, a British national with previous convictions in the UK for the production of child abuse images, to two years in prison for the sexual abuse of children by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Cambodia.

According to the Daily Mail, Fruin was working as an English teacher at the Universal English School in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, when he was arrested with one of the boys at a guesthouse in the city. He was first charged on 30 October with sexual abuse of three boys under the age of 15.

In November 2013, ECPAT UK, a leading children’s rights charity, expressed dismay at the failure once again to prevent a convicted child sex abuser from leaving the UK to prey on vulnerable children.

More than fifty-thousand people tell Theresa May to better protect trafficked children

Act now - join our campaign to make children a priority in the Modern Slavery Bill4 March 2014

More than 50,000 people have signed an ECPAT UK petition urging the Government to recognise the particular needs of child victims of trafficking in the Modern Slavery Bill.

The ongoing petition - please click to lend your support - calls on the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, to take heed of the urgent need to prioritise children and create durable solutions for them by including four key measures in the Bill:

UPDATE: Fugitive child sex offender imprisoned in Derbyshire after eight years on the run

First alerted to British authorities by ECPAT UK in 2007, Ian Bower, convicted child sex offender who abused children in Cambodia during 8-year flight, has been arrested in Derby.

3 March 2013

ECPAT UK welcomes the nIan Bower is back behind bars in this country after being deported from Cambodia.ews that convicted child sex offender Ian Bower has been finally arrested by Derbyshire Constabulary officers and returned to prison custody after deportation by Cambodian authorities.

The case of Ian Bower had been labelled an "embarrassment to Britain" by children’s rights organisation ECPAT UK because he had been able to evade UK capture and extradition for eight years, despite later prison terms in Cambodia for further child sexual abuse offences.

Need for Multi-agency Operations at UK Borders

ECPAK UK today welcomed the Government’s announcement to extend “specialist anti-slavery teams” to be deployed at major ports. ECPAT has long campaigned for working models such as Metropolitan Police’s Paladin Team - a multi-agency specialist team working in partnership to combat child trafficking and keeping children safe at all London ports, and have argued that the Government would be wise to consider how a unique model of protection and prevention of child trafficking could be developed across UK ports.

However, it cautioned the Government of the need to ensure that the new teams are a joint operation with the UK Border force and the police working alongside local authorities and fully trained child trafficking specialist, to ensure all potential child victims of trafficking are identified and protected at the earliest opportunity, decisions are made in the child’s best interests, and the crimes investigated and perpetrators prosecuted. 

Government data belies true scale of child trafficking in the UK

19 February 2014

"These figures are unlikely to show the full scale of modern slavery." Karen Brady, Modern Slavery and Organised Crime Minister, Home OfficeNew Government data published by the National Crime Agency (NCA) reporting a 47 percent increase in human trafficking only hints at the larger and more complex reality of the issue in the UK, children’s rights charity ECPAT UK has warned.

The NCA’s report is an annual assessment of the number of referrals of potential victims of trafficking made by authorised agencies, known as First Responders, to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), the Government decision-making body charged with identifying and ruling on the trafficking status of victims and deciding if a potential victim is eligible for protection and support.

ECPAT partners mark Safer Internet Day with pan-European youth conference

11 February 2014

Make-IT-Safe Berlin ConferenceTwo pupils from St John’s School in Durham, UK child safety experts and ECPAT UK, travelled to Berlin this past weekend to join with ECPAT partners in Belgium, Austria, Germany and The Netherlands at the first Peer Experts Make-IT-Safe Conference.

They met with forty other participants from across Europe to share information and approaches to raising awareness about online safety to children, teachers and parents.

Campaigners seek to protect vulnerable children at Brazil World Cup

11 February 2014

ECPAT partnership campaign to prevent child sex tourism at the World CupChild protection campaigners have warned tourists about strict criminal penalties for anyone travelling to Brazil and sexually exploiting children at the World Cup this summer.

Last week, Bharti Patel, CEO of UK-based children’s rights charity ECPAT UK, told Sky News Sunrise that British authorities should be prepared to respond to the risks posed to children trapped in the child sexual exploitation epidemic in Brazil by an influx of tourists, some of whom may be known sex offenders, to the country.

Safeguarding head named ECPAT UK Children’s Champion 2013

Paul HewittECPAT UK has awarded Paul Hewitt, Head of Safeguarding Children in Hillingdon, our Children’s Champion Award for outstanding commitment to children in 2013.

As Head of Safeguarding Children & Quality Assurance in Hillingdon, Paul has proven to be a champion of child protection, going well beyond the responsibilities of his role. ECPAT UK staff and trustees were especially impressed with his enduring dedication to supporting trafficked children and his understanding of the value of multi-agency cooperation in the fight against child trafficking and exploitation.

Advocates trial for trafficked children falls short of legal guardianship, warns ECPAT UK

Theresa May27 January 2014

Child victims of trafficking will be assigned ‘personal advocates’ in order to help keep them safe, the Government has announced, echoing ECPAT UK’s long-standing calls for a system of guardianship for trafficked children.

As we await details of the pilot, it is ECPAT UK’s concern that the advocates will be without legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the children and to hold public authorities to account. This will leave hundreds of children still at risk and could render the advocates effectively toothless to challenge failings by social services and others.

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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