More than 10 percent of child victims rescued after being trafficked into the UK for forced prostitution or other forms of criminal exploitation later go missing, a damning new report says.
The research, carried out for the Council of Europe by GRETA, found a lack of secure accommodation was often to blame.
The report’s authors say many victims can often find themselves back with their traffickers.
Co-author Jan van Dijk said: ‘‘The most serious short coming we find is that quite a high percentage of all child victims that are in the system, that are identified as victims of trafficking, go missing some where later during the process. And we have every reason to suspect that these child victims of trafficking are still under the control of the sex industry and are being re-trafficked.’‘
The UK’s low conviction rate of child traffickers was also heavily criticised by the report’s authors.
In addition to sexual exploitation, many victims were found to have been smuggled into Britain for domestic servitude, benefit fraud or forced criminality such as begging.