Exploitation and Trafficking

Exploitation and Trafficking

UK and non-UK nationals are trafficked into, within and out of the UK for exploitation, this is a brief overview of the Trafficking process.

It should always be borne in mind by any practitioner that a child subject to Human Trafficking is considered by the trafficker as a commodity and a source of income that they have in many cases paid for, or invested time and expense in recruiting or grooming for their benefit.

If they lose that source of income or benefit they may go looking for it, so any child removed from a place or situation of exploitation may still be at risk from the trafficker.

The indicators are not definitive and the same indicators could be present in more than one type of exploitation, just as the child victims could be subject to more than one type of exploitation.

However one vulnerability is present in all forms of child trafficking that is the imbalance of power between the trafficker and the victim, in some situations this could leave the child vulnerable to sexual exploitation which may not be apparent at first contact this possibility must always be foremost in a responders mind.

The Trafficking process has several distinct phases.

  1. Recruitment or grooming
  2. Travel/transportation
  3. Arrival
  4. Exploitation
  5. Rescue/Escape
  6. Return/Rehabilitation
  • Non school attendance or excluded due to behaviour
  • Staying out overnight with no explanation
  • Breakdown of residential placements due to behaviour
  • Unaccounted for money or goods including mobile phones, drugs and alcohol
  • Multiple STI’s
  • Self harming
  • Chronic alcohol and drug use
  • Criminal offending
  • Being moved around for sexual activity
  • Multiple miscarriages or terminations
  • Offering to have sex for money or other payment then running before sex takes place
  • Receiving rewards of money or goods for recruiting peers
  • Disclosure of physical sexual assault and then refusing to make or withdrawing complaint
  • Frequenting ‘red light’ district
  • Being taken to clubs and hotels by adults and engaging in sexual activity
  • Overt sexualised dress, sexualised risk taking including on Internet
  • Getting into cars with unknown adults or associating with known CSE perpetrators
  • Trafficker speaking for the child
  • Having a much older boy/girlfriend
  • No travel or identity documents
  • Does not speak English

The International definition of Human Trafficking in the context of a child.

  “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child, for the purpose of exploitation.”

Exploitation includes Sexual Exploitation and/or Human Trafficking and/or Criminal Exploitation and/or Labour Exploitation and/or Organ Harvesting amongst others.