Recent headlines have raised awareness that modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK is much more prevalent than previously thought.
It’s important to remember that traffickers do not care how young their victims are and that trafficked children are some of the most vulnerable children in this country.
They are often moved away from their family and friends, only to be exploited for someone else’s gain.
Barnardo’s has provided support to children of all ages who have been trafficked.
They might have been sexually abused, used as cheap labour or domestic servants, or have been forced to commit crimes.
It’s vital that professionals can spot the signs of trafficking and keep children safe.
And we would echo the National Crime Agency and ask that members of the public look out for signs of slavery including visible injuries, a distressed appearance and any indication someone is being controlled by another person.
Jonathan Whalley, Barnardo’s, South East and Anglia Regional Director