Global points of ‘vulnerability’: understanding processes of the trafficking of children and young people into, within and out of the UK
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AbstractWithin the UK, trafficking of children and young people into, within and out of the country has become an increasingly important and debated issue over the past decade. Although not a new phenomenon, human trafficking has risen up the policy agendas of many countries since the end of the Cold War. This type of forced migration is inextricably linked to the promotion and protection of human rights – be they civil, political, social, economic or cultural rights – and as such it is important that the broader social processes involved are understood and researched by sociologists. This contribution draws upon qualitative research into practitioner responses to trafficking of children conducted by the University of Bedfordshire and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in the UK. A key finding of this study was that trafficking of children is often viewed as a one-off ‘event’ by those who have a duty to care for children and young people. It is argued that viewing trafficking as a broader sociological process rather than an event enables a greater understanding of the environmental backgrounds of individual children and the human rights contexts within countries of origin as well as subsequent migration trajectories. It is suggested that this may lead to an enhanced ability to identify children as having been trafficked by those with a duty to care for children. The literature from the multidisciplinary fields of refugee studies and forced migration is drawn upon where applicable.
CitationHynes, P. (2010) 'Global points of ‘vulnerability’: understanding processes of the trafficking of children and young people into, within and out of the UK'. The International Journal of Human Rights 14 (6):952