Last updated 23/09/2021
Human trafficking is defined by the UNHCR guidelines (2006) as a process that is a combination of three basic components:
- Movement (including within the UK);
- Control, through harm / threat of harm or fraud1;
- For the purpose of exploitation
The Palermo Protocol establishes children as a special case for whom there are only two components – movement and exploitation. Any child transported for exploitative reasons is considered to be a trafficking victim – whether or not s/he has been deceived, because it is not considered possible for children to give informed consent. See section 2a of the Trafficked Children Toolkit for the Palermo Protocol and other relevant international and national legislation.
‘Child’ refers to children anyone below 18 years of age, including those aged 0 to 17 years and adolescents up to their 18th birthday. This definition is in accordance with the Sefton Child Protection Procedures. See also section 9.4 determining age.
A child may be trafficked between several countries in the EU or globally, prior to being trafficked into / within the UK. The child may have entered the UK illegally or legally (i.e. with immigration documents), but the intention of exploitation underpins the entire process. Child victims may be indigenous UK nationals, European Union [EU] nationals or from any country outside the EU.
‘Parent’ means parent or carer and ‘professional’ and refers to any individual working in a voluntary, employed, professional or unqualified capacity, including foster carers and approved adopters. This definition is in accordance with the Sefton Child Protection Procedures. See the section 2e of the Trafficked Children Toolkit for a glossary and acronyms.