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Trafficking children involves “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation”. The majority of child trafficking involves movement across borders; however, it can also take place within the UK.

It is difficult to establish the true scale of child trafficking but reports indicate that around 300 child trafficking victims are identified in the UK each year.

Exploitation may include: 

  • Sexual exploitation
  • Domestic servitude
  • Labour
  • Benefit fraud 
  • Involvement in criminal activity (for example, pick-pocketing)

While some children are coerced many are tricked through promises of education or respectable work. Children are considered trafficking victims regardless of whether they have been forced, deceived, or have submitted willingly. This is because anyone under the age of 18 cannot provide informed consent.  

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