Child Criminal Exploitation

Lawyers representing children in the criminal courts need to know how to identify signs of child criminal exploitation and to understand what steps should be taken next. In this seminar discussing our legal guide on Child Criminal Exploitation, find out more about the key stages of a case, from arrest through to trial, from leading youth justice experts.

Remote video URL

This seminar took place on 3 December 2020. For more detailed practical advice and information, check out our full legal guide on Child Criminal Exploitation.



Philippa Southwell

Philippa Southwell is a specialist criminal defence and human trafficking lawyer. She is the Managing Director of Southwell & Partners . She specialises in cases involving forced criminality, has acted in most of the significant and leading cases involving victims of modern slavery of the last decade and was advisor to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in relation to the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Philippa is founder and Managing Director of The Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery Expert Directory. She is widely published on modern slavery law, is the co-author of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Law and Practice (Bloomsbury 2018 and 2020) and gave evidence as a legal expert in the Home Affairs Committee modern slavery inquiry.

Philippa has a particular interest in child criminal exploitation and regularly defends both British and foreign national children prosecuted for forced criminality offences.

Aika Stephenson

Aika Stephenson is a solicitor who has specialised in youth justice work throughout her 18 year legal career. She leads the criminal defence team at Just for Kids Law, which she co-founded 14 years ago. Just for Kids Law was the first UK charity to hold a criminal legal aid contract.

Aika represents young people at every stage of the criminal justice system, from the police station to the Supreme Court. She is driven by a determination to bring about systemic change that benefits all children and young people caught up in the criminal justice system.

Aika has pioneered employing cutting-edge arguments to ensure she gets the best possible results for her young clients. She has had a high level of success using the Modern Slavery Act to ensure that vulnerable young people who have been groomed by gangs into selling drugs are recognised as victims, rather than treated as offenders.

Maya Sikand

Maya is a public law/human rights barrister at Doughty Street Chambers who has been in practice at the Bar since 1997. She has a specialist criminal appellate practice which focuses on trafficked victims wrongfully convicted of crimes and sits as a Recorder in the criminal courts. In the past, Maya has had a busy Crown Court practice. She has, for example, been a junior in over 20 murder trials, as well as been sole counsel in numerous, serious and complex cases, dealing in particular with child defendants and child witnesses. Maya is a Contributing Editor of Archbold and has written a chapter on civil compensation for victims of trafficking in Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Law and Practice (Bloomsbury 2020). Maya has remained committed to providing a voice to the marginalised throughout her career and brings an intersectional approach to her work.

Lloyd Bidder

Lloyd is a Senior Prevention Officer at The Children’s Society. The Children’s Society work to stop the criminal exploitation of children. They ensure the young people who come to them are treated as victims, not criminals and help prevent them being targeted by gangs again. The Prevention Programme empowers professionals and the public to help keep children safe. This involves training people on how to spot the signs and respond to cases of county lines and criminal exploitation. Through their Disrupting Exploitation Programme, The Children’s Society have trained over 1000 Metropolitan Police Staff working in custody to build rapport with children, identify risks early on and take the right steps to keep the child out of custody in the future. Lloyd has over 12 years’ experience working with vulnerable young people. He has developed and delivered training and systems change interventions to hundreds of professionals, including social workers, police officers and solicitors.

Katya Moran (Chair)

Katya co-runs the Youth Justice Legal Centre at Just for Kids Law. She is a specialist youth justice lawyer with several years’ experience representing children in criminal proceedings and maintains a busy independent practice in the police station and youth court. Katya oversees the development of YJLC’s interactive legal training programme, writes best practice legal guides on youth justice issues and regularly delivers lectures and training on youth justice.