A recent Guardian article has reported a very steep rise in child labour, slavery and exploitation.
In 2017, more than 5,000 potential victims of slavery and exploitation were reported to the UK authorities. This was the highest number ever reported in a single year in the UK.
Of these 5,000 potential victims, a staggering 41% of those reported were children under the age of 18. Most of these reports were connected to suspected drug trafficking or child sexual exploitation. Other reports included suspected forced labour and even suspected organ harvesting.
Victoria Atkins, the minister for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability, said, “We know there is more to do, and we are working to improve the system for identifying victims and supporting them to leave situations of exploitation and begin to recover and rebuild their lives.”
It is believed that the NCA’s wide reaching campaign against modern slavery and an increased public awareness of the signs of modern slavery have resulted in more people coming forward to the authorities with their suspicions.
Anyone who suspects that a child is a potential victim of child labour, exploitation or modern slavery is encouraged to make a report to http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/.
It has been reported that Greater Manchester Police Officers will give out teddy bears to children who are involved in car accidents.
The idea behind the project is that the teddy bears can be used to distract, comfort and calm young children down in the aftermath of an accident.
A spokesperson from Personal Injury Solicitors Sheffield said ‘We think this is an excellent project. We have seen the trauma and upset that can be caused for children who are involved in car accidents. It’s a very simple idea to keep children calm and to provide some comfort at what can be a very difficult time. Hopefully the project is a success and, if so, we hope to see it rolled out across the country in the future.’
A local Manchester company has already pledged to donate 100 teddies to the initiative.
Response officers will carry the teddies in their patrol cars and will give the bears out to any child involved in a road traffic accident, whether they are injured or not. Even a relatively minor collision can leave children traumatised. It is hoped that by giving young children a teddy bear at the scene, they will be distracted from what they have just witnessed and it may reduce the likelihood of the child suffering from mental trauma as a result of the accident.
The project has been met with praise and support.