Trafficked Children: Towards a Social Work Human Rights Response



Rigby P & Malloch M (2020) Trafficked Children: Towards a Social Work Human Rights Response. Critical and Radical Social Work, 8 (2), pp. 223-239.

This paper examines the response to the identification and support of unaccompanied children who have been trafficked into the UK. Locating the identification of victims of trafficking with the Home Office is problematic as their primary responsibility is not child protection. This approach is likely to prioritise immigration concerns that potentially excludes some children from the appropriate safeguarding support of local authority social work departments. In addition to the practice implications the current responses are examined through a lens of neoliberalism, providing a unique critique of the present system. The paper concludes by proposing an alternative model of identification and support that completely bypasses the Home Office. It proposes that identification of unaccompanied children who have been trafficked is located within a social work led, child protection framework. This would adhere to international obligations to child victims of human trafficking, and prioritise a human rights based approach.

child protection; child trafficking; human rights; neoliberal

Critical and Radical Social Work: Volume 8, Issue 2

Publication date31/08/2020
Publication date online07/08/2020
Date accepted by journal12/08/2020

People (2)


Professor Margaret Malloch

Professor Margaret Malloch

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Dr Paul Rigby

Dr Paul Rigby

Senior Lecturer, Social Work