Anonymity for child defendants who are the victims of trafficking
This case is the most recent in an increasingly long line of authorities considering the UK’s international obligations to victims of trafficking who are forced to commit crimes integral to their trafficked status. The obligations derive from the Council of European Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings 2005, and from the EU Directive 2011/36 on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, and are now reflected in the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
New guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) highlights how to protect victims who may commit criminal offences
The Department for Education (DfE) has published guidance on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) for all practitioners working with children, including those working in a youth justice setting. It contains information on how to identify and support victims of CSE including in a criminal justice context.
Court restates defence of duress for child victims of trafficking
R v VSJ and Others (Anti-Slavery International Intervening)  EWCA Crim 36 The Court of Appeal considered aspects of the defence of duress under section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The judgment restates the law concerning child victims of trafficking, confirming that once it had been established that the child was a victim of trafficking for […]
Exploitation of children by ‘county lines’ gangs – children should be safeguarded not prosecuted
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has recently published a second report on the drug distribution model known as ‘county lines’ (County Lines Gang Violence, Exploitation & Drug Supply 2016 (November 2016)). Gangs recruit vulnerable people, often children, to act as couriers and to sell drugs. The report identifies the exposure to harm children may face from these gangs and encourages authorities to safeguard rather than prosecute affected children.
Statutory defence for child victims of trafficking and slavery – section 45 Modern Slavery Act 2015
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 provides a statutory defence for victims of child trafficking and slavery accused of certain offences.
ReAct guidance for lawyers and guardians on how to better protect trafficked children
The Reinforcing Assistance to Child Victims of Trafficking (ReACT) project has published a report ‘Better Support, Better Protection’ - Steps Lawyers and Guardians can take to better protect trafficked children’. This report examines the extent to which children who may have been involved in trafficking, were identified and protected in five EU states. The report highlights the fact that lawyers and others working with children do not always have the requisite training to identify those who may be subject to trafficking.