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.