Of 113 children and young people on the list – which doesn’t include short term cases, or those excluded for reasons of safety – almost a fifth have Vietnamese names, despite that nation’s diaspora making up less than 0.1% of the British population.
Most are believed to have been trafficked into the UK by gangs, discovered by the police and taken into care.
The children are apparently not running away from their captors, but often back to them – fleeing foster families and care homes in an attempt to repay heavy debts, and protect their families from reprisals in Vietnam.Continue reading the main story
Where are minors trafficked from?
In 2012 the UK National Referral Mechanism – a framework for identifying potential victims of human trafficking – received 371 referrals regarding minors.
Van, a 15-year-old Vietnamese boy who appears on the site under a different name, was smuggled into the UK under a lorry and forced to work as a domestic servant for his traffickers. He was later put to work as a “gardener” in a number of cannabis factories across the country.
The top five countries of origin were:
- Vietnam – 96
- Nigeria – 67
- Albania – 25
- UK – 22
- China – 20
Source: Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)