Lord McColl of Dulwich, CBE is a British surgeon, professor, politician and Conservative member of the House of Lords. He has been an advocate for the survivors of human trafficking in the House of Lords for many years, bringing forward several Private Member's Bills on the issue.
Human trafficking has been a blight on British society for many years, yet still not enough is being done to help vulnerable children who are victims of this hideous crime.
A new report, ‘Still at Risk’, released today by the Refugee Council and The Children’s Society, shows that too many of these children are not being protected by the very agencies that are supposed to be supporting them. These are children who have been forced into a range of slavery and subjected to such horrific abuse as domestic servitude, forced criminality and sexual exploitation.
Often, they do not even know they are being trafficked or that what is happening to them is wrong.
Their traffickers threaten them with physical violence, frighten them into not trusting the police or strangers, and tell them if they try to get help that their families will be hurt. Despite the fear, some do escape and try to get help.
Sadly the report’s findings show that our care system is failing to protect and support them adequately. Instead of finding safety and being provided with the specialist care needed as traumatised children, some are sent to prison or detention centres.