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. Read ECPAT’s vital report conducted in conjunction with the charity Missing People.
We support their call for urgent action to be taken, including mandatory training for social workers and other frontline workers responding to missing children, the provision of safe and appropriate accommodation placements, specialist guardianship for all unaccompanied and trafficked children, and a multi-agency decision-making process to ensure a long term, stable future for each child. Furthermore, authorities must ensure systematic data collection and reporting on this issue.