`Britain’s care homes project a picture of neglect, indifference’ 1st June 2011: Data gathered through a freedom of information request shows nothing less than 173 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, vulnerable to traffickers, went missing from Kent council’s care homes in 2009.
An investigation carried out by the Observer suggests even Britain’s care homes housing identified victims of trafficking project a picture of neglect, indifference and even sometimes outright cynicism towards their claims.
It has come out that children, who were taken into local authority care and suspected of being trafficked, have gone missing. It is apprehended that so many of them have been taken back by their `tormentors’.
The development is significant as thousands of trafficked children are known to be abused and even murdered by their captors.
The director of child protection charity Ecpat UK, Christine Beddoe, says some of the victims are traded between gangs for paltry sums. Many trafficked children are not perceived to be valuable. Children can fetch as little as £300, although Scotland Yard believes some have been sold for as much as £16,000.
A substantial number of children who go missing are tortured, some even undoubtedly murdered, campaigners believe.
A petition signed by 735,889 Britons, seeking greater protection for the thousands of victims of child trafficking, has now been handed over to 10 Downing Street.