A new report warns that trafficked and unaccompanied children are 30 times more likely to go missing than others.
Article extract taken from the ECPAT UK website:
Two leading UK charities, ECPAT UK and Missing People, have released a new report warning that trafficked and unaccompanied children are 30 times more likely to go missing than other children their age. Additionally, in 2017, trafficked and unaccompanied children went missing from care on average 7 times, highlighting grave safeguarding failures on the part of local authorities.
- 1 in 4 (24%) trafficked children were reported as going missing from care (246 of 1,015)
- 15% of unaccompanied children were reported as going missing from care (729 of 4,765)
- 190 children had not been found; almost 20% of the total number of trafficked and unaccompanied children reported missing (975)
Catherine Baker, Senior Research, Policy and Campaigns Officer at ECPAT UK, says:
“The latest data paints a bleak picture of continuing failures to safeguard these children. Ultimately, each missing incident represents a safeguarding failure. Too often these children are treated as criminals or immigration offenders, rather than vulnerable children requiring support. Too often, they are placed in unsafe accommodation, or have not been made to feel safe by those responsible for their care. Each one of these children deserves specialist support, as well as an independent, legal guardian to support them, yet neither are currently guaranteed for every child. We also need every local authority to be systematically recording this information, with central Government collating and reporting on it regularly. The latest figures should be a wakeup call to this Government, to urgently prioritise resourcing frontline services so that these extremely vulnerable children are protected from harm.”
Read full article here.