LAG: Protecting missing child victims of trafficking

Wednesday 17 May 2017

A number of cases have highlighted that not enough is being done to protect trafficked children at risk of going missing. Maria Moodie and Silvia Nicolaou Garcia discuss the legal protections available in England and Wales and report on the wider problems in Europe.

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A number of cases have highlighted that not enough is being done to protect trafficked children at risk of going missing. Maria Moodie and Silvia Nicolaou Garcia discuss the legal protections available in England and Wales and report on the wider problems in Europe.

A number of cases in England and Wales from recent years serve as a useful reminder that practitioners should remain vigilant of the actions and policies of the Home Office, local authorities, the police and others (including lawyers) in reducing the risk of trafficked children going missing and/or being re-trafficked.

A widespread problem practitioners face when acting for trafficked children who go missing before, during or after litigation is the culture of disbelief in the courts and  the statutory authorities. This mentality leads to the missing child being labelled as an 'absconder' or as having 'chosen to disappear' rather than a proper recognition of the indicators and risk of re-trafficking, and often leads to further criminalisation of trafficked children, a problem corroborated by the ECPAT UK and Missing People's November 2016 report, Heading back to harm: a study on trafficked and unaccompanied children going missing from care in the UK.


This is an extract from the full article, published in May 2017 on the Legal Action Group website.

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