Scotland: a safe place for child traffickers?
Date: 14th March 2011
Category: Basic Health and Welfare, General measures of implementation
Author: Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People
At least 80 and possibly many more children may have been trafficked into Scotland in 18 months without a single person being convicted for the crimes, according to a new report published by Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People (SCCYP) and the Centre for Rural Childhood, Perth College UHI. The report is the first in Scotland to attempt to quantify the scale of the problem.
As part of the research for the report Scotland: a safe place for child traffickers?, the views and experiences of 850 relevant professionals - from health workers, social workers and teachers to the police, voluntary organisations and the UKBA in Scotland were sought. The research revealed that awareness of child trafficking is low in Scotland; this lack of awareness may have led to a significant number of cases remaining unidentified, with vulnerable children not being referred to relevant agencies.
The report also compared the number of respondents in Scotland who have been concerned that a child may have been trafficked, and the number who reported actually referring such a child. This revealed a discrepancy between the numbers; analysis of the survey data suggests that at least 80 and potentially many more children may have been trafficked compared to 14 actual referrals to the UKBA. The Commissioner makes a series of recommendations for UK Government, Scottish Government, local authorities, police forces and the UKBA in Scotland.