Child trafficking and modern slavery are child abuse where victims are subjected to abuse, inhumane and degrading treatment. It’s often difficult to uncover because those involved are intentionally hidden and isolated from the services and communities who can identify and protect them.
There are various types of modern slavery, for example domestic servitude and forced labour or criminality. However, areas of trafficking and slavery where the exploitation of children is more prevalent or where perpetrators will specifically target children to fulfil certain markets, for example sexual exploitation where children are forced into brothels or used for child pornography, illegal adoption, forced begging, pick pocketing gangs, benefit fraud, applying for UK residence and County lines drug supply.
In Devon, a wide range of agencies work closely together expose child trafficking and modern slavery and ensure that the victims (or potential victims) are supported and protected, and perpetrators brought to justice. It requires professionals and the community to gain awareness, knowledge and exercise ‘curiosity’ to identify the abuse. The Exploitation of Children Strategy 2018-2021 aims to bring all the strands of exploitation together to ensure greater understanding and collective response.
Professionals can report information and concerns to Devon and Cornwall Police through their secure Partner Agency Information Sharing Form.
The Safer Devon Partnership Exploitation Toolkit provides information to help professionals and volunteers understand, identify and report signs of exploitation.
The NSPCC’s Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC) provides provides free advice, guidance and training to professionals worried that concerned that a child or young person may be a victim of trafficking or concerned they are about to be trafficked into or out of the UK.
The Home Office have published a factsheet about modern slavery outlining the different types, indicators, signs specific to children and the make-up of modern slavery in the UK.
The Safeguarding Hub have lots of information about the types of modern slavery and how people are recruited or trafficked.
Stop the Traffick is a charity working in preventing human trafficking by inspiring, informing, equipping and mobilising communities to know what trafficking is, know how to identify it and how to respond and know how to protect themselves and others.
Unseen is a charity offering lots of information, resources and training for professionals which might come in to contact with potential victims of trafficking and modern slavery. They also provide safe houses for survivors and offer a confidential 24/7 helpline for victims of exploitation or for those to report concerns about someone they think may be a victim.