UNICEF campaign to stop child trafficking in the UK

Date: 24th February 2014
Category: Right to life, survival and development, Access to appropriate information

UNICEF UK is campaigning for protection in UK law for child victims of trafficking and is calling for children to be a priority in the Modern Slavery Bill.

At least 10 children are trafficked every week in the UK, facing violence, exploitation and abuse.

Child trafficking involves recruiting and moving a child for the purposes of exploitation. The most common reasons children are trafficked in the UK are sexual exploitation or forced labour. It happens to British-born children as well as those from other countries.

The UK Government is introducing a Modern Slavery Bill this year (2014), which has the opportunity to transform the lives of trafficked children. UNICEF UK has stated that the Bill, as it currently stands, does not go far enough to keep children safe from danger.

UNICEF UK is urging the Home Secretary Theresa May and the UK Government to prioritise children in the Modern Slavery Bill, so that they are protected by law and have a chance to rebuild their lives.

Scottish context

Scottish Labour's Jenny Marra MSP lodged a consultation on a proposal for new anti-human trafficking legislation for Scotland on 9th September 2013. The consultation proposed a raft of measures to improve Scotland's anti-trafficking response, based on EU law that came in to force in April this year and recommendations of the EHRC's Inquiry into Human Trafficking in Scotland.

The consultation closed on 17th January 2014 and a final proposal for a new anti-human trafficking legislation for Scotland was made on 18th February 2014. Keep an eye on Together's website and Twitter account (@together_sacr) for further updates.