1st Edition

Trafficked Young People Breaking the Wall of Silence

    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    Human trafficking constitutes one of the most serious human rights violations of our time. However, many social work practitioners still have a poor and incomplete understanding of the experiences of children and young people who have been trafficked. In Trafficked Young People, the authors call for a more sophisticated, informed and better developed understanding of the range of issues facing trafficked young people.

    In the first work of its kind to combine an up-to-date overview of the current policy context with related theoretical concerns and practitioner experiences, Pearce, Hynes & Bovarnick demonstrate how the trafficking of children and young people should be regarded as a child protection, rather than an immigration concern. Drawing on focus group and interview research with 72 practitioners and covering the cases of 37 individuals, Trafficked Young People explores the way child care practitioners identify, understand and work with the problems faced by people who have been trafficked. The book looks at how practitioners interpret and use definitions of trafficking in their day to day work; at their experiences of exposing the needs of trafficked children and young people and at their efforts to find appropriate resources to meet these needs.

    Trafficked Young People will be of interest to practitioners working in support housing and social work, along with solicitors and sociologists, particularly those working within discourses of child agency, self determination and victimhood. With its emphasis on the legal and policy framework, and integrated throughout with case histories, practitioner interviews and recommendations for best practice, Trafficked Young People is essential reading for anyone working within a Social Policy Development context.

    1. The introductory context. 2. The UK policy context. 3. Research methodology and methods. 4. Trafficking as a process not a one off event. 5. Trafficking of children and young people is hidden behind a wall of silence. 6. Universal service providers. 7. Dedicated services. 8. Specific summary points from our research. 9. Gaps in future work and thoughts about what is needed next.


    Jenny J. Pearce is the Director of the Institute of Applied Social Research, and the International Centre for the Study of Sexually Exploited and Trafficked Young People, both at the University of Bedforshire, UK. Her research interests focus particularly on young people, sexual exploitation, child protection and domestic violence, and on accessing young people’s accounts of their experiences of child sexual exploitation.

    Patricia Hynes is a Principal Lecturer in the Department of Applied Social Studies at the University of Bedfordshire, UK. Her research interests include the sociology of human rights and forced migration in all its forms, including trafficking, refugees and issues around asylum. She has conducted research internationally on internally displaced persons, refugees, trafficking and asylum policy. 

    Silvie Bovarnick is a freelance researcher. She has previously worked for the NSPCC and the Department of Health on research programmes addressing different areas of violence and abuse. Her academic interests include the discursive construction of human rights and violence, specifically covering children's rights and women's rights. She has recently conducted research on child trafficking and child neglect.

    "This is an essential read for anyone working with trafficked young people. It couples extensive coverage of the key issues with heartrending accounts from young victims, showing the reality of their appalling experiences. This valuable and wide ranging resource covers everything from the relevant legislation to the effective use of interpreters and how to manage disclosures." Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England


    "This book provides insightful treatment of the complex challenges that face practitioners in identifying and responding to the devastating phenomenon of child trafficking. Whilst clearly located within the child protection framework, the authors find that effective intervention will be sensitive to young people's developing agency as they transition into adulthood. After careful exploration of how western constructs like 'childhood' and 'home' may act to obscure an individual's lived experience, they call for relationship based approaches to help young people overcome the true impact of human trafficking on their lives." Julie Harris, Assistant Director for Research & Evaluation, Barnardo's Strategy Unit


    "With a sensitive and evidence-based discussion, the authors prize open cracks in the walls of misunderstanding and suspicion which surround the issue of trafficking, shedding light on society’s current response and indicating how to develop better policy and practice". Susanne MacGregor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine