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Human Trafficking And Child Protection Bill

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Human trafficking is a modern concept for slavery, being a world-wide problem and a serious violation of human rights that affects thousands of people. At the moment, it is the leader in the top three most profitable crimes in the UK. (Democracy life, 2010)

Unfortunately, there have been a lot of traffic victims among children as well, the UK being one of the destination spots for child trafficking. But, what do we understand by this concept? As stated by the United Nations Palermo protocol, child trafficking is defined as ’’the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring of receipt’’ of a child for exploitation purposes. (2000)

According to statistics, a total of 4550 children were identified by the UK authorities as potential victims of trafficking in 2019, up from 3137 in 2018. 76% of them were boys. 174 children were found in Wales. Speaking of current year, there have been more traffic victims among children rather than adults in the second quarter, the children representing 58% of total referrals. (Child trafficking in the UK, 2020)

Considering the increasing numbers, the government representatives in the UK are constantly coming with new bills and laws that have the purpose to help those affected by human trafficking and to convict the perpetrators. One of those bills is Human trafficking (child protection) bill, originated in the House of Commons in 2019.

Peter Bone, who has been a conservative MP in Wellingborough since May 2005, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking, and Treasurer of the APPG on Human Trafficking of Women and Children, introduced the bill in 2018. It is a private member’s bill, also known as a public bill introduced by MPs or Lords to the UK Parliament. He has shared his initial idea about it during the second debate for ’’Child victims of human trafficking (central government responsibility)’’ bill on the 29th of January 2016. As he commented: The Prime Minister has shown great courage on the human trafficking issue, but the problem comes with how children are looked after; they do not go into that system, and that is what I am trying to solve with this Bill. (The work for you, 2016)

The first reading took place on Monday, the 10th of February in 2020, without a debate. The second reading for this bill, which represents the next stage, is scheduled to happen on the 22nd of January 2021. Although this is a very important issue, the Bill has yet to be drafted and due to the pandemic it will not be for a little while. (Human Trafficking, Child Protection Bill, 2019)

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Mr Bone has been campaigning on human trafficking since 2005, and he initiated the child protection bill because, as he comments: The system may be working for adult victims but for children trafficked in our country the situation can still be bleak. The failure of our system in properly protecting victims of child trafficking is in many ways a national scandal that must be addressed by Government. He believes that the Government should take care of those children that have been subjected to human trafficking and protect them from future harm by creating of secure safe houses for them. They must be helped back into society. (Bone, 2018) Also, if their case is being investigated, the legal representative must be provided for free. (Weatherburn, 2019, 112)

The bill is needed, because at the moment there is no special care for children who have been or are suspected to have been trafficked. Under the provisions of the Children Act 1989 and 2004 once rescued, the children are being transferred to social services, under the administration of the local government, because there are no specific support services for them. (Hynes, 2015) Unfortunately, the majority of those social services treats them like regular homeless or missing children, which is very wrong. They are being placed with other, non-trafficked children, where security is restricted.

The research in 2009 showed that 4 out of 5 children in orphanages were given up by their parents for the purpose of profit, that’s where the term ’’paper orphans’’ is being used, and represents another form of child trafficking. (E van Doore, 2016) A lot of children of a very young age need particular care, because they may develop attachment difficulties, while teenagers might attempt suicide. (Greenbaum, 2018, p.160) It’s obvious that those victims of child trafficking need special attention, psychological support and therapeutic group sessions, especially considering the fact that the adults, after being rescued by police, benefit from more care and protection in safe houses. (Beddoe, 2017) So why are the kids being treated worse than the adults?

According to Mr. Bone, it often happens that the children who have been rescued, are found and forced back by the criminals who originally trafficked them. If those children have had a better care and most importantly, have been placed in secure houses, like the bill insists, that would not happen. (Bone, 2018) In Manila, Philipines, things are fare more different than the current situation of the support that trafficked children get in the UK.

Mr. Bone had the chance to visit one of the secure houses for trafficked children, and that visit has given him the knowledge and the inspiration to sponsor the Child Protection bill. What he was impressed by is that, first of all, the location of the secure house is kept a secret. Second of all, it has security guards who check the identification of everyone who visits. The design of the house, even the decorations, have been chosen with care, so they can have a positive impact on children’s self esteem and make them feel more comfortable and safe. That is what Mr. Bone wants to achieve by promoting the Child Protection Bill – a safe and secure environment for all the kids, where they can leave the fear behind the gates. (Bone, 2010)

Considering the fact that we live in a high developed era, where our scientific, medical and technological possibilities and knowledge are advancing daily, we still don’t know how to properly take care of each other, or don’t want to put more effort into that. It’s a shame that human trafficking is still a thing in 2020, and it’s obvious that it probably will never end, but we must do everything in our powers to help everyone who has been subjected to trafficking, and do that quick, because the future is in our hands, and the kids represent the future.

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Human Trafficking And Child Protection Bill. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from
“Human Trafficking And Child Protection Bill.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
Human Trafficking And Child Protection Bill. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 Jun. 2023].
Human Trafficking And Child Protection Bill [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Jun 10]. Available from:
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