Caution on child trafficking review

 

The Children's Commissioner has said it would have to “consider” a possible review of how rescued trafficked children are cared for before agreeing to take it on.

In a bid to head off a Lords rebellion last night, Home Office Minister Lord Henley said the Children's Commissioner would be invited to review practical arrangements around how victims were kept safe after being rescued.

Tory peer Lord McColl had tabled an amendment to the Protection of Freedoms Bill to create dedicated "legal advocates" for trafficked children, a move which the Government had opposed as unnecessary last week in the Commons. The amendment had cross-party support but was withdrawn before a vote.

Children's Commissioner for England Maggie Atkinson said today: "The Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC) noted with interest the House of Lords debate on the care of rescued trafficked children. Home Office Minister Lord Henley suggested the Department for Education may ask OCC to review this care.

"A request to review care has not yet been made. However if this was received we would give it due consideration, and as a small organisation would seek assurances regarding the independence of our work and the resources that would enable us to undertake this work.

"We have always been keen to promote and protect the interests of all children in England. Our reports on children seeking asylum such as Landing in Dover have made recommendations and led to meaningful changes in policy by various agencies."

The OCC is an independent statutory body with powers set out in the Children Act 2004 to promote the views and interests of children and young people and have particular regard to groups of children who do not have other adequate means by which they can make their views known.

Speaking in the Lords last night, Lord McColl told peers: "Between 2007 and February 2010, out of 942 trafficked children that were rescued in the UK, a staggering 301 were lost. In the last year the loss rate fell to 18% but this is still a completely unacceptable situation.

"It is an incredibly sad reflection on our priorities as a nation we should take such poor care of these incredibly vulnerable children. First of all they are kidnapped or lured under false pretences and trafficked to the UK.

"Then they are rescued and all too often whilst in the care of the local authorities they are lost, probably re-trafficked. I find it hard to conceive we are not doing more to help these children.

"This amendment is all about trying to ensure they receive proper levels of care when they are not lost."

Lord Henley promised the Government "would come back" to the issue.

He said: "I am content to ask colleagues in the Department for Education to invite the Children's Commissioner to review the current practical arrangements for rescued child victims of trafficking and to provide advice to that department and us in the Home Office.

"We will be in a position to come back to these matters at a later stage."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established managed services IT...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Recruitment Genius: Plant Fitter - Construction Industry

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This well established construction equipment d...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003