Poverty and Inequality

17.12.18

‘Ongoing hidden scandal’ as hundreds of children go missing from local authority care

Hundreds of trafficked children under the care of local authorities in the UK last year have reportedly gone missing, according to new research from charities.

The report, seen by the Observer, shows that of the 1,015 children reported by local authorities as suspected or identified victims of trafficking, 24% have gone missing from the care system in 2017.

With a total of 5,780 unaccompanied and trafficked children reported as being in the care of local authorities last year, the findings raise serious concerns about the capacity of local authorities to care for vulnerable children who often arrive in the UK alone or rescued from trafficking gangs.

The two charities who published the report, Every Child Protected Against Trafficking (ECPAT) and Missing People, discovered that the number of trafficked children under council care in 2017 had increased by 8% from 2014-15, and that 15% of unaccompanied children had also gone missing.

Catherine Baker, co-author of the report from ECPAT, claimed that it was “an ongoing hidden scandal that so many child-trafficking victims and unaccompanied children continue to be failed by the UK care system.”

The findings come from Freedom of Information requests to 217 local authorities with responsibilities for social care in the UK.

Overall, the report discovered that 190 out of the 276 trafficked children reported missing from care last year have not yet been found.

The co-author of the Missing People report, Jane Hunter, commented: “Trafficked children are going missing at a rate of more than 30 times that of other children, and more than double that of other looked-after children.

“This is happening despite government attempts to improve the system of identifying trafficked children through the national referral mechanism (NRM).”

She said there were 2,118 children referred to the NRM in 2017, a rise of 66% on the previous year, but argued that the true number of trafficked children was likely to be much higher based on UK Government estimates.

Hunter added: “Trafficked and unaccompanied children are particularly vulnerable, and may go missing back into a highly exploitative situation to those they were trafficked by or others.”

Image credit - linephoto

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

TSSA welcomes vote backing HS2 phase 2

17/07/2019TSSA welcomes vote backing HS2 phase 2

The general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) has described the decision by MPs to approve the second stage of the H... more >
County council approves £153m link road amid climate change protests

16/07/2019County council approves £153m link road amid climate change protests

Norwich county councillors have formally approved a new link road for the Norwich bypass, despite the environmental group Extinction Rebellion st... more >
Lewisham Council appoint new chief executive from Hackney Council

15/07/2019Lewisham Council appoint new chief executive from Hackney Council

Lewisham LBC is set to appoint Kim Wright, currently a group director at Hackney Council, as its new chief executive. Wright will take up th... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
TSSA welcomes vote backing HS2 phase 2

17/07/2019TSSA welcomes vote backing HS2 phase 2

The general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) has described the decision by MPs to approve the second stage of the High Speed Two (HS2) as “wise and welcome&rdq... more >
County council approves £153m link road amid climate change protests

16/07/2019County council approves £153m link road amid climate change protests

Norwich county councillors have formally approved a new link road for the Norwich bypass, despite the environmental group Extinction Rebellion staging protests on the steps of the County Hall. ... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both simpler and more transparent. These regulatory changes are designed to help achieve its ambition to deliver 300,000 extra homes per year by the mid-2020s.  ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News