Modern Slavery & Child Trafficking
Modern Slavery and Child Trafficking are types of child abuse. Many children and young people are trafficked into the UK from other countries. Child Trafficking also takes place where a child is taken from one area in the country to another. This is a common feature with Organised Crime Groups exploiting children to carry out crime such as drug dealing as part of County Lines.
Trafficking as an approach to exploit
Trafficking is where a child is tricked, forced or persuaded to leave their homes and are moved or transported and then exploited, forced into sexual abuse, commit crime, work or sold. Children are trafficked for:
- sexual and criminal exploitation
- benefit fraud
- forced marriage
- domestic slavery like cleaning, cooking and childcare
- forced labour in factories or agriculture
- committing crimes, like begging, theft, working on cannabis farms or moving drugs.
In 2019, BBC London produce a short clip to raise awareness of the links of Child Trafficking and County Lines:
Traffickers, as with sexual and criminal exploitation, will often groom children, families and communities to gain their trust. They may also threaten families with violence or threats.
Trafficking is also an economic crime. Traffickers may ask families for money for providing documents or transport and they’ll make a profit from money a child “earns” through exploitation, forced labour or crime. They’ll often be told this money is to pay off a debt they or their family “owe” to the traffickers
– work alone or in small groups, recruiting a small number of children, often from areas they know and live in.
– be medium-sized groups who recruit, move and exploit children and young people on a small scale.
– be large criminal networks that operate internationally with high-level corruption, money laundering and a large numbers of victims.
It may not be obvious that a child has been trafficked but you might notice unusual or unexpected things, such as:
– spend a lot of time doing household chores
– rarely leave their house or have no time for playing
– be orphaned or living apart from their family
– live in low-standard accommodation
– be unsure which country, city or town they’re in
– can’t or are reluctant to share personal information or where they live
– not be registered with a school or a GP practice
– have no access to their parents or guardians
– be seen in inappropriate places like brothels or factories
– have money or things you wouldn’t expect them to
– have injuries from workplace accidents
– give a prepared story which is very similar to stories given by other children
The National Referral Mechanism (NRM)
For further information on the NRM view the NRM Guidance.
If you are a first responder for Modern Slavery to submit an NRM view the Online Reporting Form.
You can still report modern slavery if you’re not a first responder. Call the modern slavery helpline on 0800 0121 700 or report it online.
York Anti-Trafficking Society (YATS) Podcast Series
York Anti-Trafficking (YATS) as part of Modern Slavery Week in 2019 produced a short podcast series to raise awareness of Modern Slavery in York and surronding areas including North Yorkshire. To listen to the clips click on the images below:
Where to go for further information and support?
Modern Slavery Helpline (MSH) and Resource Centre provides a means for victims, the public, statutory agencies and business to report concerns and get help and advice. MSH is fully independent and free to call on 08000 121 700, submit reports online or spot the signs of modern slavery and report concerns using the free Unseen App.
The NSPCC has a wide range of useful information about child trafficking:
- What Child Trafficking is
- Types of Child Trafficking
- Signs of Child Trafficking
- Effects of Child Trafficking
- Who’s at risk
- Support for children
- Report Child Trafficking