Think that child slavery only happens in other countries? Think again.
Trafficked children have been found in every county across the UK. Including yours.
Some are girls groomed by older men and exploited for sex. Others are vulnerable teenagers threatened and forced by gangs to sell drugs in towns across the UK. Some children have even been trafficked to the UK from overseas and forced into domestic servitude , locked behind closed doors and separated from the outside world.
This is a reminder that the most horrific abuses are happening today, on our doorstep. Slavery is everyone’s business. It’s our business.
Alarmingly, a lot of people who escape slavery, including children, are often let down by the authorities whose job it is to protect them. We see survivors being detained, deported, or even jailed for crimes they were forced to commit. Teenagers who are forced to sell drugs by criminal gangs are often treated as criminals themselves, rather than as victims of abuse. This plays into the hands of traffickers, as they can tell their victims that they risk jail or deportation if they turn to the police.
Even those children who are correctly identified as trafficking victims are unlikely to have their best interests protected or their needs supported. With no single adult who they can trust they may end up in inadequate accommodation or return to their oppressors out of fear.
Anti-Slavery International has been campaigning for the UK Government to develop a comprehensive response to modern slavery for both children and adults in the UK. Although some small steps have been taken, much remains to be done in practice.
This Anti-Slavery Day, please join the movement to end modern slavery in the UK:
- Share our video to raise awareness about this issue. The more people who know about it, the more we can change things.
- Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with our campaigns and take action when needed.
- Support the movement to end slavery around the world by donating or becoming a member, so that all adults and children can enjoy lives in freedom.