Slavery: Children

Home Office written question – answered on 8th July 2021.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate he has made of the number of children and young people engaged in county lines who are being subjected to (a) child sexual exploitation and (b) other forms of modern slavery.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government recognises the devastating impact of county lines activity on children and vulnerable people. We are determined to disrupt the ruthless gangs responsible for this harm and put an end to exploitation.

The Government does not publish a breakdown of county lines referrals to the National Referral Mechanism by exploitation type. Data on the number of county lines referrals by age group and gender are provided in Table 27 of the data tables, found here: Modern Slavery: National Referral Mechanism and Duty to Notify statistics UK, Quarter 1 2021 – January to March - GOV.UK (

We have committed to improve data collection in the recently published Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy. The Strategy, which sets out our long-term ambition to tackle all forms of child sexual abuse, outlines our commitment to improving collection and analysis of data on child sexual exploitation and the links to other forms of exploitation such as county lines. This will enable a more joined up and coherent approach to tackling county lines, group based child sexual exploitation, and modern slavery.

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