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No ‘magic bullets’: children, young people, trafficking and child protection in the UKTrafficking of children and young people has become an increasingly debated issue in the UK, with official statistics often considered to reflect only the “tip of the iceberg” of cases. Identification of a child as “trafficked” relies upon referral to designated “first responders” and “competent authorities” within a National Referral Mechanism (NRM). This article explores the complex undertaking of identifying a child as “trafficked”. It is suggested that, like any other form of child protection, in cases of “trafficking” there are unlikely to be “magic bullets” providing immediate answers to why children are not always seen as being exploited and/or abused and consequently identified as “trafficked”. Drawing on findings from two qualitative studies into understandings of trafficking amongst agencies working with children, it is suggested that identifying “trafficking” of children could be enhanced if a broader range of agencies had roles in the process, particularly those working within community engagement frameworks in positions to form crucial relationships of trust with children.