Child & Young People Trafficking

Child trafficking is where children are recruited/groomed and moved or transported and then exploited. Many children are trafficked into the UK from abroad, but children can also be trafficked from one part of the UK to another and even locally within the same town (for example to a hotel).

Internal/domestic trafficking is the movement of people within the UK for exploitation. Trafficking networks are often formed, sometimes with victims themselves being forced to bring in vulnerable peers. However traffickers can also work alone and in an unplanned/opportunist manner.

Traffickers use grooming techniques to gain the trust of a child. Many children and young people don’t understand that they have been groomed or that what has happened is abuse.

Exploitation can take various forms including:

  • Sexual abuse, including production of abusive images and videos
  • Forced prostitution
  • Forced labour and domestic servitude where victims are forced to work in private households performing domestic duties or childcare or various industries such as factories, construction or even nail bars or beauty salons, for long hours with little or no pay and restricted freedom, sometimes under threats of violence towards them or their families.
  • Criminal exploitation where victims are forced into crime such as drug production or smuggling or shop-lifting, all for someone else’s financial gain.

Child trafficking only requires evidence of movement and exploitation. It may often involve taxis, public transport such as buses and trains, cafes and hotels. All people working in these areas should be aware of how to spot the signs of children being exploited and what they can do about it.

Do you know where you’re going and why?

Young people must think carefully about their safety before agreeing to travel anywhere with anyone – even if it is just to the local park – or accepting an invitation into to someone’s car, room, house or party. If someone offers you a lift or to pay your fare, think carefully about why they are doing it and what they may potentially want from you in return.

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