Long overdue advocacy scheme to protect children from trafficking

A good move – the introduction of a Statutory child trafficking advocates scheme (extract from LGIU Policy update)

Frank Field’s review and the pre-legislative scrutiny committee heard evidence that children are not being adequately supported as they navigate the complexities of the social care system as well as the immigration criminal justice systems. This was seen as important for a number of reasons including that children are deemed to be especially vulnerable to going missing and re-trafficking if they are not properly supported.

In response the Government is conducting a trial of independent child advocates in twenty three local authority areas whereby a specialist advocate is allocated to a child who has been referred via the National Referral Mechanism. Their role will be to steer the child through the complexities of the social care system as well as the immigration and criminal justice systems, and to ensure the child’s voice is heard.

The Act places a duty on the Secretary of State to make independent advocates available for all child victims of trafficking, after a trial has concluded, provided that both Houses of Parliament pass resolutions that this is the correct way to proceed. This scheme, including the detail of the role, will be established by secondary legislation (subject to affirmative resolutions being passed by both Houses of Parliament). The interim trail evaluation was published in March 2015 and can be found here (PDF document).”

The idea of having an advocate for vulnerable children, particularly those who are in care and/or going through immigration procedures is long overdue but of course a relief that it is finally happening.

This blog supports UNICEF, protecting vulnerable children worldwide – trafficking is a crime and an abuse that many children suffer on a global scale so policies to help tackle this are heartening to read.

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