[ Source:www.guardian.co.uk ]
The UK are constantly failing their own children. Should we be surprised then by these latest figures. I am more surprised that there is an admission or acknowledgement to this situation.
The UK largely deny child trafficking and prefer to think in terms of illegal immigrants, meaning that many children are deported at the first opportunity.
According to records from 16 local authorities around England's ports and airports, an estimated 408 children disappeared between July 2004 and July 2007. They are known by officialdom as unaccompanied asylum seekers and child protection campaigners believe most have been trafficked. It is thought that many escape only for traffickers to send them on for exploitation in other parts of the world, particularly Italy and Spain. Only 12 children have been traced and returned to care. "We are shocked that the numbers keep rising," said Christine Beddoe, the chief executive of ECPAT UK which campaigns for greater protection for trafficked children. "These figures come in spite of the government's action plan on trafficking and show the need for an urgent inquiry into separated children who go missing. These vulnerable children need to be given independent guardians as soon as possible to ensure they are protected from traffickers who we know target them even while they are in care."