Trafficked Girls' and Young Women's Project
The Trafficked Girls' and Young Women's Project sits within the Children's Section at the Refugee Council in Croydon. The specialist adviser supports girls and young women who have been trafficked to the UK. Trafficking may involve domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, forced labour, benefit fraud or organ harvesting.
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.
The Trafficked Girls' and Young Women's provides:
Direct and personalised one-to-one support for young female victims of trafficking including:
- Support and advocacy through legal and statutory asylum and trafficking processes
- Support and advocacy through the criminal justice system
- Referring to, 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
Expert advice, information and support for agencies that come into contact with this client group.
Awareness raising on a national level about the needs and experiences of young female victims of trafficking.
Animation about Trafficked Girls
As part of the Children's Section 18th birthday celebrations, an animation was made telling the story of Melody.
In this animation, Melody tells her story of arriving in the UK completely alone at the age of 12. She was sent to the UK from her home country of Nigeria to live with a friend of the family, but was forced to live in domestic servitude and was repeatedly beaten and sexually abused.
Two young Refugee Council clients gave evidence at a trial of a sex trafficker who was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The girls, who were supported by the Refugee Council’s Children’s Section, were chief witnesses to the prosecution and gave evidence about their own experiences of being trafficked from Nigeria for exploitation in the UK.
Helen Johnson, Operations Manager of the Children’s Section said: “It was incredibly brave of our young clients to stand up in court and recount their experiences of being trafficked to the UK by this man. It is thanks to them and other people who came forward that justice has been done.
“Every day we work with young girls who have been through similarly horrifying experiences, and we see the lasting effects trafficking can have on them. We are constantly amazed by their resilience, and that they have the strength to start rebuilding their lives here.”