3 December 2014
Fourteen thousand Greater Manchester children are frequently missing from school which can leave them at risk of sexual exploitation, according to Ann Coffey MP.
Ms Coffey called in the Commons this week for all local authorities to hold central ‘persistent absence lists’ which could be cross referenced by police, education welfare officers and children’s services in order to identify young people at risk and spot patterns of local child sexual exploitation.
The Speech below was delivered in the House of Commons on 5th December 2013 in the Modern Slavery debate. The full debate can be found here.
I want to focus on how trafficked children are responded to – and in most cases – let down by our care system.
I am the chair of the All Party Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults. Last year we carried out a joint parliamentary inquiry, supported by the Children’s Society, into children who go missing from care, which highlighted the vulnerability and specific needs of trafficked children.
We found that trafficked children from abroad are being particularly let down by the care system and their needs are being ignored. Part of the problem is because the authorities view child trafficking as an immigration control issue.
Hundreds of them disappear from care every year, many within 48 hours.