Government accused of failing children who are trafficked

Government accused of failing children who are trafficked

Britain is failing to protect thousands of children from being trafficked and enslaved, activists said, criticising the government for lacking a clear strategy.

 It's failing to stop girls being sexually abused and gangs using young people as drug mules.

The government's approach to tackling child trafficking is fragmented and young victims lack specialist care at a time when a record number of child slaves are being uncovered, said the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group (ATMG), a group of charities.

In Britain, 2,118 children suspected to have been trafficked - mostly trapped in sexual exploitation, domestic servitude or forced labour - were referred to the government last year, up 66 percent on 2016 and the highest annual number on record.

About a third were British, many used as drug runners, while hundreds were trafficked from countries such as Vietnam, Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iraq, according to government figures.

"Having no clear plan in place to prevent child trafficking in the UK ... should shame this government," said Anti-Slavery International's chief executive Jasmine O'Connor, adding that simply targeting the traffickers would not solve the problem.

"We need to create support networks that can make children and their families resilient to being coerced, are able to spot the worrying signs quickly, and can provide specialised support for children who have already been trafficked," she added.

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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