Trafficked Boys' and Young Men's Project
The Refugee Council’s Trafficked Boys’ and Young Men’s Project offers support, advice and advocacy to boys and young men under 18 who have been brought into the UK to be exploited. This may involve forced labour, forced criminal activity such as working on a cannabis farm, or sexual exploitation.
If you have come across a young person who you believe may have been trafficked it is important to ensure they have access to specialist services and advice. While we work with young men of any foreign nationality we have a particular specialism in working with children from Vietnam who have been trafficked to work on cannabis farms in the UK and have been criminalised as a result of this.
How do I know if a young person has been trafficked?
Some key indicators to look out for include where a young person:
- appears to be neglected
- is malnourished
- is required to earn a minimum amount of money every day
- works in various locations
- possesses money and goods not accounted for
- appears to be missing for periods of time
- has gone missing from local authority care
- has a history with missing links and unexplained moves
- is a young person who is in detention or has been charged with or convicted of drugs or immigration offences.
What we do:
1: Provide direct and personalised one-to-one support for young male victims of trafficking across England and Wales including:
- support and advocacy through legal and statutory asylum and trafficking processes
- support and advocacy through the criminal justice system
- support and advocacy through the age dispute process
- liaising with and facilitating access to other services including legal representatives, social services, law enforcement, education and healthcare
- accompanying to appointments and support with orientation and life skills.
2: Give expert advice, information and support to agencies that come into contact with this client group.
3: Raise awareness on a national level about the needs and experiences of young male victims of trafficking.
The role of the Trafficked Boys' and Young Men's Adviser
The Trafficked Boys’ and Young Men’s Adviser will conduct an initial assessment with all newly referred young people to establish trafficking indicators and support needs and introduce and explain the service to the young person. They will then work with the young person to establish an individual support plan and ensure they are able to access the services they are entitled to. This can include, but is not limited to: legal advice and representation, social services support, accommodation, education, healthcare and social, orientation and life skills support. The Trafficked Boys’ and Young Men’s Adviser will work to ensure that young people are aware of their rights as children and as victims of trafficking and are able to successfully enact them.
The Adviser can also take on the role of an independent ‘guardian’, ‘appropriate adult’ or ‘litigation friend ‘ where necessary in order to advocate for and protect the rights and best interests of trafficked young men and boys through the National Referral Mechanism, the asylum system, the criminal justice system, age assessments and other relevant processes.
If you would like to make a referral of a young person who you believe we may be able to assist, please complete a referral form.