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NI NGOs and Stormont paved the way for guardianship system for trafficked children in England and Wales

Following in the footsteps of Stormont, England and Wales are set to put in place a protection system for children who have been trafficked. The House of Lords has voted in favour of amendments to the Modern Slavery Bill to secure Child Trafficking Advocates with legal powers to effectively advocate for trafficked children and young people.

A similar but more far-reaching measure was included in Clause 22 of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) which received Royal Assent in January. The Clause ensures that all separated children subject to immigration control are protected by legal guardians, thereby ensuring that children who may not be initially identified as victims of trafficking do not fall through the net.

The Law Centre had worked closely with the Northern Ireland Children’s Commissioner, ECPAT UK and other organisations involved in combatting trafficking to convince Stormont to include the amendment in the Northern Ireland legislation.

More information

Read more about the guardianship measures in Northern Ireland:

www.lawcentreni.org/news/recent-news/1-news/1156-human-trafficking-bill-secures-guardianship-for-trafficked-and-separated-children.html

http://www.ecpat.org.uk/media/northern-ireland-pioneers-legal-guardianship-trafficked-children

Read more about the proposed measures in England and Wales:

www.ecpat.org.uk/media/historic-campaign-win-secures-extra-support-trafficked-children

Read more on the Law Centre’s views on protecting trafficked and other separated children:

www.lawcentreni.org/Publications/Policy-Briefings/Separated-children.pdf

www.lawcentreni.org/Publications/Policy-Responses/Extending-Gaurdianship-Separated-Children.pdf

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