Ilona Pinter, Policy Adviser at The Children's Society, said:
'We welcome the work the government has done in the past year to tackle this horrific issue. It is reassuring to see the government outline its commitment to preventing trafficked children going missing from local authority care.
'Hundreds of trafficked children go missing from local authority care each year - many within 48 hours, as found by an all-party parliamentary inquiry supported by The Children's Society earlier this year. Shockingly, the majority of these children are never found again.
'A lack of awareness across key services of the signs that a child has been trafficked means many more are not detected - denying them the vital protection they need. The dangerous practice of placing unaccompanied children who are potential victims of trafficking in inappropriate and unsupervised accommodation puts them at risk of further abuse and must end.
'Today’s increase in numbers clearly shows more needs to be done to protect children trafficked into slavery and we look forward to working with the government on this issue.'
For more information, please call Lynsey Mellows in The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4420 or via email. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.
Notes to editors
- The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.