Child slavery advocate trial scheme introduced

Victims of child slavery are to be given individual support from specialist independent advocates, the government has announced.

The new scheme will be trialled in the West Midlands, Manchester and Oxfordshire.

Advocates would be responsible for the child's wellbeing in dealing with the care and immigration systems.

Home Office minister James Brokenshire said victims of child slavery would receive "help and protection".

Under the new system each child victim will be allocated a person with specialist training and expertise in trafficking.

They would support the child in overcoming language and cultural barriers, making sure the child has access to the right services, accompany the child to key meetings and promote their interests.

'Appalling evil'

Last year a package of measures to tackle human trafficking in the draft Modern Slavery Bill was proposed by Home Secretary Theresa May.

Mr Brokenshire, said: "Modern slavery is an appalling evil, particularly when it involves children.

"Child victims of slavery are an incredibly vulnerable group in need of specialist support but at the moment provision is patchy and inconsistent.

"We want to ensure there is a single, dedicated point of contact for each child from start to finish.

The trials will last for a period of six months before a Home Office evaluation.

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