30th July 2016
Today is World Day Against Trafficking of Persons and Jean Lambert MEP is using it to draw attention to this crime and especially the dangers faced by unaccompanied children.
Human trafficking is a highly profitable international crime in which people are traded for prostitution, forced labour or other forms of exploitation. Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.
Unaccompanied children who have been forced to leave their homes are particularly at risk of becoming victims of trafficking. Desperate children are increasingly becoming victim to criminals coercing them into criminal activities and exploitation, says the charity Missing Children Europe.
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, said: “I would really love this year to be the year that the UK and other governments take their responsibilities to care for vulnerable, lone children and protect them from trafficking, exploitation, violence and forced labour. The Home Office know what needs to be done, it just needs to do it.
“We know there has been an exacerbation of child trafficking in the EU because of the ongoing migration crisis. These are young people who have are searching for safety yet governments are failure to provide it.
“We must make sure unaccompanied children are taken care of from the moment they arrive. Children need to develop trusting relationship with people who can explain their rights and help them claim asylum or be reunited with their families. It is absolutely unacceptable for children to be abandoned by the authorities and left to fend for themselves making them more at risk of being trafficked and exploited.”
Earlier this month the European Parliament renewed its call for action on trafficking and condemned this modern kind of slavery and one of the worst forms of human rights violations. MEPs adopted a resolution calling for more awareness of trafficking and better prevention. They also called for more legal protection for victims so that they are able to give evidence in court and traffickers can be prosecuted, and stopped.