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2013 (Narrative date)

UK children continue to be subjected to sex trafficking within the country. Children in the care system and unaccompanied migrant children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. The latest government statistics derived from the UK National Referral Mechanism in 2014 reveal 2,340 potential victims of trafficking from 96 countries of origin, of whom 61 percent were female and 29 percent were children. At least one child a day is trafficked into Britain according the to the Human Trafficking Foundation, with children forced to work in the sex industry, domestic service, cannabis cultivation or as criminal on the streets.  Child victims of human trafficking primarily originate from Romania, Vietnam, Nigeria, and from within the UK itself.

After her mum left home and her dad started drinking, Alisha looked for friendship in a group of older people outside of school. Thinking they cared about her, Alisha accepted alcohol and drugs from them. Once she became hooked, her friends demanded she pay them for what they had given her, forcing her to perform sexual services under the threat of violence. 

My name is Alisha. My mum left home when I was 12 and I haven’t seen her since. It was just my dad and I, but he worked a lot. And when he wasn’t working, he was drinking. Life felt constantly sad and boring. When I was 15 I got involved with a group of friends outside of school. They were a good few years older than me but I didn’t think anything of it. We partied a lot. Drink and drugs. They gave me them for free for a while because I was the baby and I felt like finally I had some people that cared about me. Once I was properly hooked, smoking weed just to get through the day. They start saying I’d need to pay for the drink and drugs somehow. One of the lads in the group had always fancied me, and he said he’s pay for my weed if I slept with him or gave him sexual favours. I felt like I had no choice, so I did. It all went downhill from there. They told me that they would hurt me, and tell the whole town I was a slut if I didn’t keep paying for the stuff they had given me. The drink, the lifts, the top ups. I had no one to tell, nowhere to go. How did this happen to me? 

Courtesy of Freedom Acts