Child trafficking victims being let down by UK government, say experts

January 10, 2014
Child trafficking victims being let down by government, say experts

As Human Trafficking Awareness Day is marked across the world tomorrow (11 January), experts from Royal Holloway have condemned the Government for failing to put the welfare of child trafficking victims above concerns about immigration control.

A team of academics warned that the UK authorities' lack of understanding about child victims' backgrounds can leave them vulnerable to further exploitation, either in the UK or abroad if they are deported to their home country.

"Human trafficking is a horrendous crime that causes an immense amount of suffering for the victims", said Anna Gupta, from the Department of Social Work at Royal Holloway University. "Child victims are held against their will and can be forced into a life of sexual abuse, domestic servitude or criminal activity. However, if they are identified and rescued, they then have to go through a series of complex and stressful asylum or immigration processes.

"Indeed, some children such as Vietnamese boys trafficked to work in cannabis factories, are often treated as criminals not victims. We know that when these children are sent back to their home country they can be left in desperate circumstances and are at risk of exploitation by traffickers once again. Many young victims go missing in the UK in order to avoid deportation and also face similar risks as undocumented migrants."

Bringing together expertise from Royal Holloway's Social Work, Geography and Media Arts departments, a group of academics have been studying the experiences of unaccompanied and separated migrant children in the UK.

The experts urged the Government to put the interests of children at the heart of its policies, to ensure child victims do not disappear following their initial care in the UK and are then re-trafficked.

"New measures could include providing a legal guardian for child victims to support them through the duration of their care. This would be a critical step towards ensuring that young trafficking victims get the support they need and help ensure their welfare into adulthood", Ms Gupta added.

Explore further: Collecting DNA for human rights: How to help while safeguarding privacy

Related Stories

Collecting DNA for human rights: How to help while safeguarding privacy

May 15, 2013
DNA databases might help identify victims of crime and human trafficking, but how do we safeguard the personal privacy of innocent victims and family members? A new report online May 15 in the Cell Press journal Trends in ...

Sex trafficking and exploitation of minors serious problems in the US, says new report

September 25, 2013
Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors are serious problems in the United States with long-term adverse consequences for children and society as a whole, and federal agencies should work with state and ...

UN: 'Worrying' increase in global child trafficking

December 13, 2012
Children—most of them girls—now make up 27 percent of all human trafficking cases, marking an alarming increase in recent years, a UN agency said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

High moral reasoning associated with increased activity in the human brain's reward system

August 22, 2017
Individuals who have a high level of moral reasoning show increased activity in the brain's frontostriatal reward system, both during periods of rest and while performing a sequential risk taking and decision making task ...

Like adults, children show bias in attributing mental states to others

August 22, 2017
Young children are more likely to attribute mental states to characters that belong to the same group as them relative to characters that belong to an outside group, according to findings published in Psychological Science, ...

Wealth disparity and family income impact the brain development of female youth

August 22, 2017
Female teenagers living in neighbourhoods with wide salary gaps and a low-income household show changes to their brain maturation that could indicate a higher risk of developing mental illness in adulthood, suggests a recently ...

Yoga and meditation improve mind-body health and stress resilience

August 22, 2017
Many people report positive health effects from practicing yoga and meditation, and experience both mental and physical benefits from these practices. However, we still have much to learn about how exactly these practices ...

Brain's self-regulation in teens at risk for obesity

August 22, 2017
In a small study that scanned the brains of teenagers while exposing them to tempting "food cues," researchers report that reduced activity in the brain's "self-regulation" system may be an important early predictor of adult ...

New study rebuts the claim that antidepressants do not work

August 18, 2017
A theory that has gained considerable attention in international media, including Newsweek and the CBS broadcast 60 minutes, suggests that antidepressant drugs such as the SSRIs do not exert any actual antidepressant effect. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.