The anti-slavery network RENATE has hosted a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons to launch its new mapping exercise on child trafficking.
Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Lord Hogan-Howe, sponsored the event, with contributions from Iain Duncan-Smith MP, Commons sponsor of the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill and Maria Miller MP, co-chair of the Independent Review into the 2015 Modern Slavery Act.
There were two purposes to the reception. First, to help close the gap between frontline anti- slavery groups throughout Europe and lawmakers by bringing the two together. Second, to launch new research commissioned by RENATE Europe, undertaken by Revd Dr Carrie Pemberton Ford, Director, Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking (CCARHT) and Research Associate with the Centre for Global Migration (Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge), with assistance from desk-researchers and RENATE members in the field.
The researchers behind the report undertook painstaking work in seven European countries (Albania, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Slovakia, The Netherlands and Ukraine), setting out to document and analyse responses to the problem of child trafficking. Its findings are a wake- up call. The report authors conclude:
“...in none of the countries studied were the measures of protection comprehensively adequate to the special needs of unaccompanied minor migrants.’’
Lord Hogan-Howe, trustee of anti-slavery charity and co-sponsor of the event, the Arise Foundation said:
“I am delighted to play a part in bringing the voice of frontline anti-slavery activists to parliament. Westminster can be a bubble, and this often brings about a disconnect between what is happening on the ground and what policy-makers are discussing. Modern slave-traders are organised criminals. They quickly and cleverly adapt their methods. We need frontline intelligence on the true picture of what slavery looks like, not just for our benefit, but to raise awareness among the general public who often feel far removed from the world of slavery, but in reality, are not. I commend the superb work of RENATE in bringing this invaluable knowledge to the fore.”
Sr Imelda Poole, IBVM, MBE, founder of RENATE said “The next step is to translate the findings from the report into concrete policy recommendations. It is hoped that this mapping of child trafficking will lead to more action on the part of all the specialists in the field. RENATE calls on them to work more closely together and to heed the advice given in the many reports quoted in this document and in the research conducted in the field, over the last year. The aim of RENATE, as with the SDGs and Pope Francis in Rome, is to ‘Rid the World of Human Trafficking by 2030’. Let us unite to achieve this goal.’’
Further information: www.renate-europe.net