Child Trafficking & Modern Slavery


Child trafficking and modern slavery are child abuse.

Child Trafficking is the movement of a child for the purpose of exploitation. (A child is defined as any person under the age of 18).  Children are tricked, forced or persuaded to leave their homes and traffickers may promise children education or persuade parents that their child can have a better future in another place.

Children can be moved, harboured and transported within the UK as well as across international borders. Most children are trafficked for financial gain. They can be trafficked by parents, extended family members, known adults in the community, organised gangs or by strangers.

They can be trafficked for many different forms of exploitation, including:

  • Sexual Exploitation 

  • Domestic servitude – such as cleaning or cooking

  • Sweatshop, restaurant and other catering work

  • Credit card fraud

  • Begging or pickpocketing or other forms of petty criminal activity

  • Agricultural labour, including tending plants in illegal cannabis farms

  • Benefit fraud

  • Drug mules, drug dealing or decoys for adult drug traffickers

  • Illegal inter-country adoptions

  • Forced Marriage 

  • Organ removal and in some cases ritual sacrifice


Trafficked children experience multiple forms of abuse and neglect.

Physical, sexual and emotional violence are often used to control victims of trafficking and children are also likely to be physically and emotionally neglected.

Trafficked children have little choice in what happens to them and often experience multiple forms of abuse and neglect due to violence and threats made against them or their families. In effect, they are owned by the traffickers.


Further Information and Advice