Human trafficking – university academics meet to discuss latest trends

Published: 28 September 2007 at 12:22

Anglia Ruskin University’s Unit for the Law of Children and the Vulnerable has organised a workshop on Human Trafficking as part of the 25th Annual Symposium on Economic Crime at Jesus College, Cambridge.

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The workshop, put together by the Anglia School of Law, was attended by academics from many countries. It looked at child trafficking in the UK with particular reference to the local Eastern region, providing human trafficking information from around the world. Included were addresses from academics and researchers from Africa and Turkey. UK Government officials also contributed to the debate about policy initiatives to help in the collaborative fight against the crime.

The main speakers at the event, entitled Trafficking in Children and Young People – the Local Perspective, led debates on the very latest issues that face the UK authorities and source regions among which Southern Africa, Southern Asia, Northern Europe and Northern Africa, and Turkey are listed.

“This conference was set up to explain the many dimensions of human trafficking to the academics from source countries as they will inevitably be the ones called on to help resolve the problem over time”,

said Graham Ritchie from Anglia Ruskin University’s Unit for the Law of Children and the Vulnerable.

“These academics including experts in crime, law and protection came together to look at the current situation, particularly with regards to crimes involving children.”

Most of the cases of trafficking in children involve young people aged between 14 and 17 years old. According to recent research, unclear definitions of traffiking in children result in statistics ridden with methodological problems. It has also been disclosed that few governments systematically collect data on human trafficking and when they do provide statistical information they often mix data related to trafficking, smuggling and illegal migration.

“There is very little operational police investigated data on the problem still, here in the UK,”

Graham Ritchie continued:

“There has been progress with academic studies which suggests that not more than a thousand children arrive each year. The problem with this estimate is that the data on which this is based is derived from those children who are in contact with the authorities for one reason or another. Until the results of a major police investigation come to light, it is difficult to get an insight into the numbers and circumstances of the ‘hidden from sight children’.”

“As always, this is an immensely challenging and sensitive subject to tackle but we think we made real progress in this area by bringing together top industry experts and academics to make recommendations for further improvements to the protection system as it stands today.”

For more information on the conference or the subject of human trafficking visit or contact Anglia Ruskin University on 0845 271 3333.