Trafficking victims should have the chance to tell their story
Following the publication of the 'Landing in Dover' report by the Children's Commissioner for England, the Executive Director of the Centre for Social Justice, Gavin Poole, has issued a statement welcoming the increased protection for children, and calling for further changes to help protect adult victims of human trafficking.
The statement reads:
“This crucial report from Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner for England, takes important steps to place unacceptable practices relating to child trafficking firmly in the spotlight. It reinforces some widely held fears that the sheer scale of those trafficked into the UK, and the extent of the crime, is both unknown and undocumented. The report demonstrates that individuals, those too often dismissed as “illegal immigrants”, are in fact victims of crime, abuse and exploitation and are in need of specialist care.
“Whilst it is encouraging that these practices have reportedly been halted at all UK ports for unaccompanied children, it is disturbing that no changes have been made to protect adults. Those trafficked to the UK are among the most vulnerable members of society, at high risk of exploitation and abuse. Every individual, adult or child, should be given a chance to explain their real story. The risks and extent of trafficking must be fully understood and acknowledged within the Border Agency and at ports across the country; only then can we effectively support the victims and prosecute the perpetrators of this most shameful of crimes.”