The Home Office has announced a new pilot programme which will allow Councils to decide upon a child’s status as a victim of trafficking
The pilot will test whether determining if a child is a victim of modern slavery within existing safeguarding structures is a more appropriate model for making modern slavery decisions for children. It will enable decisions about whether a child is a victim of modern slavery to be made by those involved in their care and ensure the decisions made are closely aligned with the provision of local, needs-based support and any law enforcement response.
Ten pilot sites have been agreed after a competitive process including Hull, Barking & Dagenham, Camden, Glasgow and Cardiff and some more rural areas such as North Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. The pilot will operate for 12 months.
Patricia Durr, CEO of ECPAT UK, commented:
“We welcome the launch of this important pilot to test decision making about child victims of trafficking within existing child safeguarding frameworks in order to provide each child with the protection, care and support they need.
We are pleased to see such a wide range of sites included within the pilot scheme as well as the inclusion of a number of recommendations from our joint report with Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner; particularly the duty to seek out the views of the child’s Independent Child Trafficking Guardian to ensure children’s voices are heard and their wishes are advocated for.
This is a positive step towards a more integrated approach to children's rights and needs for protection which we hope will lead to greater provision of specialist care to help trafficked children overcome the trauma of exploitation and prevent re-trafficking and other forms of abuse.”
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