Human trafficking rising in UK, warn anti-slavery groups

New figures show nearly 1,000 victims in 2011 and suggest children are being forced into crime

The response to child trafficking has been criticised as inadequate and breeding a false sense of security – as new statistics show the trade in humans into the UK is growing.

Last year, the British authorities learned of 946 victims, compared with 710 in 2010, the inter-departmental ministerial group on human trafficking said. Trafficking gangs in China, Nigeria, eastern Europe and Vietnam are the most prolific.

Anti-slavery groups have warned that Government failures have led to "significant steps back" in tackling trafficking. There is currently no official figure for the number of victims.

However, the report said 712 adult victims and 234 child victims were reported last year to the National Referral Mechanism, the official body that identifies and looks after those caught up in trafficking.

It is thought the increase could be explained by improvements in identifying victims, although campaigners say many people choose not to come forward for fear of being deported.

The report suggested an increase in the number of children being forced into crime. It also detailed two cases of people trafficked for illegal organ removals, but they were detected and stopped before the operations.

Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "The vast majority of them think they're coming to a better life in the UK."

The UK's leading police child protection agency yesterday proposed more checks to deter British sex offenders from abusing children abroad.

Britons who teach and volunteer overseas should be subject to Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks to deter sex offenders from travelling abroad to target young victims, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) agency proposed.

One in five convicted or suspected sex offenders moves abroad to give them access to children in schools, orphanages or other institutions, according to figures released by Ceop.

The new international certificate is designed to prevent paedophiles banned from working at home from exploiting the demand for English-speaking workers in countries where vetting procedures are less stringent.

But Christine Beddoe, director of End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (Ecpat) UK, urged the authorities to go further and allow employers to apply directly for full CRB checks on potential recruits.

"There is a danger it could give a false sense of security to employers – particularly small schools or charities which are little less aware of formal procedures," she said. "This could be seen as a fantastic tool for sex offenders to present to an employer and say 'I'm really safe'.

"I would like us to take the next step by opening up the CRB check for proper checking for international schools and charities," she added.

Ceop, which has worked with the Association of Chief Police Officers' Criminal Records Office to launch the new certificates, said they could be requested for those UK nationals already in paid or voluntary employment in other countries.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering