Child Trafficking: Young People’s Experiences of Front-Line Services in England

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14 Citations (SciVal)


This article reports findings from an innovative qualitative study with 20 young people who were trafficked into and within England and their experiences of front-line services. In practice, concepts of consent and coercion are problematized as inadequate determinants of child trafficking. Young people reported experiencing front-line practice as victim-blaming and punitive. The findings demonstrate that young people require a more welfare-orientated response, based upon being listened to, believed and with greater action taken to protect them from further harm. They extend policy debates by providing fresh insights into children's experiences of trafficking and services, hitherto omitted. The findings support the depoliticizing of child trafficking policy, away from a criminal justice approach, and abandoning labelling children as 'smuggled' and 'trafficked'.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberazy042
Pages (from-to)481-500
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Issue number2
Early online date13 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019


  • child protection policy
  • child trafficking
  • children's experiences
  • modern slavery
  • smuggled
  • trafficked

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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