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Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

THE num­ber of peo­ple re­ferred for be­ing sus­pected vic­tims of hu­man traf­fick­ing in the UK has more than tre­bled since 2012.

There were 3,809 re­fer­rals made to au­thor­i­ties last year - in­clud­ing 1,280 in­volv­ing chil­dren - at a rate of more than 10 ev­ery day.

Hu­man traf­fick­ing is the il­le­gal trans­porta­tion of peo­ple from one coun­try or area to another, for rea­sons in­clud­ing forced labour, sex­ual ex­ploita­tion, and do­mes­tic servi­tude.

Forced labour means vic­tims are made to work in­cred­i­bly long hours be­fore hand­ing over wages to traf­fick­ers.

Sex­ual ex­ploita­tion in­cludes non-con­sen­sual or abu­sive sex acts such as pros­ti­tu­tion, es­cort­ing and pornog­ra­phy.

Do­mes­tic servi­tude in­cludes vic­tims be­ing forced to work in pri­vate house­holds, of­ten sleep­ing on the floor, with­out get­ting paid.

Out of the 110 na­tion­al­i­ties re­ferred within the UK, the high­est num­ber of child vic­tims were in fact UK cit­i­zens. Some 256 boys and girls were re­ferred, or 20% of all 1,280 chil­dren, in 2016.

Some 217 UK chil­dren were be­lieved to have been sex­u­ally ex­ploited and 35 were re­ferred for forced labour.

By ALICE CACHIA

The num­ber of hu­man traf­fick­ing re­fer­rals is ris­ing so quickly that there were more chil­dren of all na­tion­al­i­ties re­ferred last year than there were com­bined adult and child re­fer­rals 2012. Boys were mostly re­ferred for forced labour, while girls were over­whelm­ingly re­ferred for sex­ual ex­ploita­tion. Among adults, Al­ba­ni­ans were re­ferred 473 times more than any other na­tion­al­ity - and mak­ing up nearly one in five hu­man traf­fick­ing cases in­volv­ing over 18s. There were also 292 Viet­namese, 218

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