Human Trafficking: Children

Home Office written question – answered on 17th February 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Doocey Baroness Doocey Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what training on UK child trafficking patterns has been provided to French border officials at St Pancras International and Ashford International to help identify vulnerable children being trafficked out of the UK, and by whom.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department

The UK Government takes child trafficking extremely seriously. All Border Force officers at the Eurostar ports in the UK France and Belgium have received training in keeping children safe and all operational processes involving children comply with requirements as set out in the Children and Young Persons Act. Border Force and Eurostar have daily contact on operational matters. When passengers are identified by Border Force officers as potential victims of trafficking, immediate action is taken to safeguard the individual by following Home Office guidance on the treatment of the victims of trafficking. Border Force collects data on these cases in order to notify the Human Trafficking Centre. Contact is also made with Camden Social Services Safeguarding Team as soon as possible in order to establish safe care of the child. Eurostar has its own policy on unaccompanied children travelling on its services which can be found on the internet at: http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/travel-planning/accessibility#unaccompanied_children

Border Force has not provided training to French border officials on UK child trafficking patterns. All cases of suspected trafficking detected by the French border officials at St Pancras are handed to the BTP to action. In France and Belgium any concerns Border Force officers have about vulnerable children attempting to travel to the UK would be referred to the French and Belgian frontier control authorities. The Home Office has not had any discussions with Patina Rail about a proposed new routing between St Pancras and Ashford.

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