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Child Trafficking in Scotland: research

Research on the routes and circumstances of children and young people who have been identified as victims of trafficking and exploitation in Scotland, and their experiences of support services.

The Scottish Government Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy (2017) identified the need for Scotland-wide research to explore experiences of child trafficking in Scotland. This study, commissioned by the Scottish Government, aimed to provide an overview of how many children and young people had been identified as victims of human trafficking, to establish their geographic and demographic routes into Scotland and their experiences of professional responses. The research employed case file analysis and interviews with young people and professionals to illuminate these issues. For the index time-period for the research, no UK nationals were identified for the case file analysis. Consequently, the focus of the research was on children and young people who came to the UK across international borders.

The study highlights that individual journeys, multifaceted social and demographic circumstances, and multiple exploitative experiences of children and young people make documenting clear patterns problematic. Despite the complexities, support for children and young people is apparent across agencies and is appreciated by young people. The support operates within a largely child-centred Scottish policy, although practice does not always fully reflect policy imperatives and there are particular concerns from professionals about systems and processes that span UK and Scottish legislative frameworks and the subsequent impact on children’s wellbeing.

Child Trafficking In Scotland 72 page PDF, 1.2 MB


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