Today’s news review looks at a report on children going missing from care.
ECPAT UK Report
Today, Tuesday 15 November, child trafficking NGO Ecpat UK and the charity Missing People issued a report that suggests trafficked and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are going missing from UK care at what they describe as an “alarmingly high” rate. Their figures suggest that nearly 30% of all UK child trafficking victims and 13% of unaccompanied children disappeared from care services.
The story was covered in the Guardian, Mail Online, BBC Online and Channel 4 News.
We have already strengthened regulations on children's homes and local authorities have a duty to tell us when a young person goes missing. In addition, in September we commissioned ECPAT and the Refugee Council to deliver training for foster carers and support workers of unaccompanied children. Earlier this month, the government also committed to produce a strategy looking at the issues that will affect unaccompanied asylum seeking children coming to this country.
A Government spokesperson said:
It is vital that children in care are protected from harm. We have already strengthened regulations on children’s homes and local authorities have a duty to tell us about all incidents of young people going missing.
But we know trafficked and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are especially vulnerable. That’s why we have commissioned specialist training for those caring for them, committed to an independent advocate in each area to help champion their rights and outlined clear plans for a new government strategy to look at their particular needs, including reviewing the accommodation available.
Read our statement on safeguarding unaccompanied asylum seeking children here.