In response to the introduction of the Modern Slavery Bill in the House of Commons today, UNICEF UK’s Deputy Executive Director Anita Tiessen said:
"UNICEF UK welcomes the introduction of the Modern Slavery Bill as an historic moment in the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking. Shamefully, at least ten children are trafficked every week in the UK, facing a life of violence, exploitation and abuse.
“UNICEF UK applauds the Government’s strong commitment to combat trafficking and the cross-party support behind the Bill. Whilst the Government has taken some important steps to strengthen the focus on victims, it’s imperative the Bill goes further to protect the most vulnerable and hidden members of our society – trafficked children.
“Every trafficked child should have a guardian who must be independent, established in law and given the power to instruct legal representatives on the child’s behalf.
“UNICEF UK is disappointed not to see a separate offence for child trafficking in the Modern Slavery Bill, which could increase prosecutions of traffickers. If done right, it could identify when a child has been trafficked and act as a deterrent to potential child traffickers.”
Notes to editors:
For further information, please contact: Alice Klein – UNICEF UK Media Office/ firstname.lastname@example.org / + 44 (0)20 7375 6082
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF UK raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please visit unicef.org.uk