Sunday, 12 February 2017

A vital route to safety: or is it a route to child trafficking ?

"First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has written to Theresa May urging her to reverse a decision to cut off a `vital route to safety` for child refugees."

"The UK government has come under fire for ending the `Dubs amendment` scheme in March after taking in 350 children."

"Ms Sturgeon said the scheme was `the only reliable and legal route` for unaccompanied child refugees."

"Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the scheme `acts as a pull` factor and `encourages people traffickers`."

"The Home Office has insisted it is not giving up on vulnerable children and said youngsters would continue to arrive from around the world through other resettlement schemes and the asylum system..."

"The first minister said her government supported a number of other UK commitments to taking in refugees, such as the Syrian Resettlement Programme, and said Scotland `stands ready` to help `provide a place of safety to children in the gravest of situations`."

"She added: `I urge you to reverse the shameful decision on the Dubs amendment which cuts off the only reliable and legal route for unaccompanied children arriving from Europe`."

But how safe are these children in the UK?

Heading back to harm a report by ECPAT UK, in partnership with Missing People reveals that, "from September 2014 to September 2015, 28% of trafficked children (167 children) in care and 13% of unaccompanied children (593 children) in care went missing at least once. Of these, 207 missing trafficked or unaccompanied children had not been found..."

"Identification of trafficking is also a challenge in the UK at local level, despite the creation in 2009 of a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to identify victims. Therefore, the true number of trafficked and unaccompanied children going missing is likely to be far higher than our findings suggest."

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