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REX/Elena Perlino
UK News

Christian charities concerned after children rescued from traffickers become victims again

by Tola Mbakwe

According to figures obtained by The Times, 152 Vietnamese youngsters have gone missing from their care and foster homes since 2015, and 88 have disappeared temporarily.

This summer, 12 vanished from Rochdale.

Nola Leach Chief Executive of Christian charity CARE said this shows that the current system is inadequate in helping the most venerable members of society.

She said in statement: "Once a child is rescued from exploitation it is a complete failing of the state if they then end up missing from care, and at worst end up back in the hands of their traffickers.

"We must urgently review just how police, social workers and foster carers work together to ensure that child trafficking victims are protected and kept safe.

"The government must roll out, with haste, independent child trafficking advocates across the country.

She said advocates should provide an extra layer of safeguarding for these children.

She added: "Government trials of child trafficking advocates were been overwhelmingly positive. The advocates played a vital role in highlighting potential risks, pushing local authorities to provide safer accommodation and tracing children who have gone missing."

James Simmonds-Read, of the Christian charity Children's Society told The Times: "We are not creating a culture where they feel safe, so children freak out and go missing and back to the people that trafficked and abused them."

The Home Office said it was developing an independent advocate system to help councils support young trafficking victims, and added that it had placed a duty on councils to flag up cases of children disappearing from care.

Rochdale council said there was "no similarity" between the street grooming scandal and the issues surrounding missing Vietnamese children.

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