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Child Trafficking

Child trafficking is a form of child abuse where children are recruited, moved or transported and then exploited, forced to work or sold. They are often subject to multiple forms of exploitation.

Children are trafficked for:

Many children are trafficked into the UK from abroad, but children can also be trafficked from one part of the UK to another.

Traffickers use grooming techniques to gain the trust of a child, family or community.

Traffickers may promise children education or persuade parents their child can have a better future in another place.

Sometimes families will be asked for payment towards the ‘service’ a trafficker is providing – for example sorting out the child’s documentation prior to travel or organising transportation.

Traffickers make a profit from the money a child earns through exploitation, forced labour or crime. Often this is explained as a way for a child to pay off a debt they or their family 'owe' to the traffickers.

Although these are methods used by traffickers, coercion, violence or threats do not need to be proven in cases of child trafficking - a child cannot legally consent so child trafficking only requires evidence of movement and exploitation.


The NSPCC provide useful information and an advice centre service on Child Trafficking.