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Care Services: Children

House of Lords written question – answered on 21st May 2008.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have identified specialist authorities with appropriate procedures and services for unaccompanied children who are suspected of being trafficked and who require care and protection; and whether they will appoint independent guardians and an independent rapporteur for such children.

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

We are holding discussions with potential specialist authorities over the care and support of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Such care and support will include measures to identify and meet the needs of those who may have been trafficked.

On the appointment of guardians, I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave on 14 November 2007 (Hansard, col. WA 19). The Government do not currently believe that there is a role for an independent rapporteur for trafficked children. We have in place an interdepartmental ministerial group on human trafficking supported by a stakeholder group of non-government organisations which meets Ministers on a regular basis.

Each provides opportunities for consultations on the Government's strategy for combating human trafficking. Key children's charities, and the Children's Commissioner, are represented on the NGO stakeholder group.

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