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Press releases archive


Press releases

The New Age Child Sex Tourism

NCAA transnational investigation into live streaming of sexual abuse of Philippine children has led to 17 arrests of UK nationals, who are among offenders from 12 countries, and the identification of 15 victims of child sex abuse. Additional ongoing investigations have identified 733 suspects, 139 of whom are in the UK, according to the report released by UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

The investigations which revealed an alarming picture of dedicated and organised live online child abuse offences orchestrated and facilitated by a crime group in the Philippines, cites cases of British nationals Timothy Ford from Northamptonshire and Thomas Owen in Merseyside. 

Police explore international links for convicted child sex offender Ian Watkins

Singer Ian Watkins sentenced to 35 years for multiple child sex offences“Away from the highlights of your public performance lay a dark and sinister side.” This was the comment of Mr Justice Royce of Cardiff Crown Court when he sentenced Ian Watkins, singer of band Lostprophets, to 35 years for multiple child sex offences. Watkins admitted to 13 offences, including conspiring to rape a child, three counts of sexual assault involving children and seven counts involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children, among other offences. 24 of the 90 images found on his computer fell into the most serious category.

As Watkins begins his prison sentence of 29 years, detectives investigating the cases believe there may be more victims not just in the UK, but also in the US and Germany, where the band toured extensively. Detectives are liaising with forces across Britain, the international police organisation Interpol and the Department for Homeland Security in the US to establish further abuses.

Protection needs of child victims overlooked in draft Modern Slavery Bill

16 December 2013

ECPAT UK, a leading children’s rights charity, today called the Home Secretary’s Modern Slavery Bill an important first step in streamlining anti-trafficking law but expressed concerns that the draft legislation has not adequately reflected the immediate protection needs of child victims of trafficking.

While welcoming the Government’s commitment to introducing legislation and policy to combat human trafficking and modern slavery, ECPAT UK said that the narrow focus of the Modern Slavery Bill omitted several vital measures to keep trafficked children safe.

ECPAT UK urges MPs to put children at the heart of the Modern Slavery Bill

5th December 2013

The protection of child victims of trafficking should be a priority for MPs who are due to debate the Modern Slavery Bill in the House of Commons today, ECPAT UK has said.

The Modern Slavery Bill, announced earlier this year by the Home Secretary Theresa May, provides an opportunity for the UK Government to signal its commitment to tackling human trafficking and, in particular, its commitment to protecting children who are particularly vulnerable to this abuse.

Convicted child sex abuser should have been prevented from leaving UK

5 December 2013

British sex offender, Michael McCartney, was arrested in Spain for the sexual abuse of three boys in November 2013.ECPAT UK has welcomed the recent arrest and conviction of UK sex offender Michael McCartney for the abuse of three children in Spain but has warned that UK law must be strengthened to restrict the travel of convicted child sex offenders. 

According to the police, he groomed the boys, gaining their trust before sexually abusing them. He had been on the run since then, having failed to attend his sentencing hearing in April 2013. Following his arrest in Alicante, Spain on 14th November, McCartney was extradited under the orders of a judge of the Spanish high court and was returned to the UK. Since his return, Cambridge Crown Court, where he was originally convicted, has added a further year to his original eight-year sentence.

Gaps in data hindering child trafficking fight

Improved child trafficking data systems under Anti-Trafficking Commissioner would lead to more effective interventions

29 November 2013

Our understanding of child trafficking must be improvedThe UK must immediately introduce an independent Anti-Trafficking Commissioner to improve Government responses weakened by a lack of data on child trafficking, ECPAT UK said in its latest evidence submission to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery. 

A comprehensive and ongoing audit of UK responses to child trafficking must also be undertaken to prevent further escalation of the issues and protect vulnerable children.

British offender charged with child sexual abuse in Cambodia

12 November 2013

CambodiaA British national, with previous convictions in the UK for the production of child abuse images, has been charged with sexual abuse of children by a Municipal Court in Cambodia, ECPAT UK has learned.

According to The Cambodia Daily, Richard Fruin was charged on 30 October by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court with sexual abuse of two brothers, aged 8 and 11. Both children testified during the proceedings to being molested by Fruin.

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

Latest assessment of human trafficking reveals gaps in Government response

21 October 2013

IDMG second annual reportECPAT UK today expressed its disappointment with the second annual report of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking (IDMG), calling it a missed opportunity for the Government to assess the mounting crisis of child trafficking in the UK.

With evidence sessions to inform the Government's forthcoming Modern Slavery Bill commencing in two weeks, ECPAT UK has warned that a vital review of Government measures and actions to protect child victims of trafficking must still be carried out.

Central to ECPAT UK's concerns is the IDMG report's ommission of a number of serious issues affecting child victims of trafficking, such as the lack of a system of legal guardianship for victims, the impact of legal aid proposals on trafficked children and the continuing criminalisation of children who are prosecuted for crimes they are forced to commit.

“Children are continually put at risk by authorities’ failure to provide specialist and adequate safeguarding measures to this group of highly vulnerable individuals,” said Bharti Patel, CEO of ECPAT UK.

10-year-old girl trafficked to UK highlights continuing failure to protect child victims

17 October 2013

Ilyas and Tallat AsharThe decade-long enslavement of a 10-year-old Pakistani girl in Manchester has highlighted the desperate plight of child victims of trafficking in the UK and the urgent need to improve the response to children abused in domestic servitude.

The girl, who is profoundly deaf and non-verbal, was exploited in multiple ways – trapped in domestic servitude, sexually and physically abused, and used to enable the family to claim more than £30,000 in benefit fraud.

The young victim arrived in the UK aged 10 on a passport stating she was 20. Officials at Heathrow Airport missed the opportunity to identify the child as a potential victim of trafficking, and she entered the country, where she remained enslaved and abused for nearly 10 years.

New trafficked boys project draws inspiration from ECPAT UK Girls’ Youth Group

15 October 2013

Youth Group Wins AwardECPAT UK and The Children’s Society have announced the launch of a new partnership project to support boys and young men who have been trafficked to the UK.

The new project will draw on the successful model of peer support developed by the ECPAT UK Girls’ Youth Group, an initiative for girls and young women who are victims of trafficking, which provides a safe environment for young people to build confidence and skills, and participate in the process of the change.

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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