Yvette Cooper talks tough on child trafficking and illegal immigration

12th September, 2013 3:53 pm

Yvette Cooper MP says the government are not doing enough to stop child trafficking. The Shadow Home Secretary’s comments came after a report published today showed that 2,000 trafficking victims, including 500 trafficked children, were found in the UK last year. The Children’s Society report  says the “true number of children trafficked is likely to be much higher,” and a report from the Sunday Times recently highlighted how easily child trafficking victims fall through the net.

Yvette Cooper says these latest statistics should ring alarm bells in the Home Office:

 “65% of trafficking victims last year were not recorded on the national system to increase their protection. Almost two thirds of rescued children go missing again. Put into care, they simply disappear. Abused already, they are then let down by a system supposed to keep them safe. The EU directive on human trafficking introduces the concept of independent “guardians” for trafficked children to help protect them.  But so far the Home Secretary has refused to implement them.”

Writing in the Guardian, Yvette Cooper has said she welcomes Theresa May’s modern slavery bill, which ‘should have strong cross-party support’. But the Shadow Home Secretary argues that the Government needs to do much more to stop child trafficking:

“Trafficking isn’t only a disgusting crime. It’s an evil trade exploiting a weak system. We must make sure this government does everything possible to stamp it out.”

Refugee charities are pleased that Yvette is supporting the Government’s modern slavery bill. They say that Yvette’s pressure on the Home Secretary could help bring about positive changes to the way human trafficking victims are treated in Britain. Sophie Radice, from Women for Refugee Women, says: “WFRW hopes the modern slavery bill will help change attitudes towards trafficking victims and apply a survivor-centred human rights based approach to dealing with trafficking victims. At the moment the UK Border Agency seems unable to understand what those who’ve suffered trafficking have experienced.”

Yvette Cooper’s comments are part of a broader move to toughen Labour’s stance on illegal immigration. Last week she tabled an Urgent Question at PMQs to ask Theresa May why Border Force staff weren’t doing more to stop illegal immigrants entering the UK.

Labour’s tough stance on illegal immigration is likely to play well to the electorate. However, Yvette’s strong talk worries some on the Left, who fear that cracking down on illegal immigration could cause the public to react negatively to all immigrants, including trafficked children and refugees. The Children’s Society report highlights this concern: “young people [who were trafficked] reported that, despite their vulnerability, they had often been treated with suspicion and prejudice, as so-called ‘illegal immigrants’ rather than children in need or victims of trafficking.” Sophie Radice from Women for Refugee Women, confirms this: “The UKBA’s insensitive approach results in trafficked victims being treated like criminals and put in detention centres like Yarl’s Wood.”

Sources close to Yvette say she wasn’t trying to stoke up the immigration debate, but to call for a more healthy, systematic approach to entry at the border. A senior Labour source said: “If you do more to make sure that illegal immigration is being tackled then that allows you far more space to actually be fairer with those seeking asylum and to get public confidence in the system. Yvette has talked about that a lot in her speeches.”

  • $6215628

    The Tories have been cutting this for 3 years, more in London since Boris won in 2008′ but why haven’t Labour been more vocal on this in the last 3 years, it could be because it doesn’t make good copy in the papers

  • driver56

    At last somebody in the shadow cabinet is raising their head above the parapet and taking the fight to the Tories. I think Yvette is a definite contender for any leadership contest. we need to go on the attack but armed with what the people want,

Latest

  • News Corbyn proposes creating a Cabinet Committee to ensure publicly funded arts sector

    Corbyn proposes creating a Cabinet Committee to ensure publicly funded arts sector

      Jeremy Corbyn has announced that he will create a Cabinet Committee for the arts and creative industries to ensure there is a publicly funded arts, culture and heritage sector.   The leadership candidate has argued that this committee would make sure that arts policy-making is more effective as ministers would be brought together from across different departments. “If elected Labour leader, I pledge to work alongside the creative industries to support, develop, and collectively achieve a culturally rich, more […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Weekly survey: favourite Labour leader, House of Lords and David Cameron’s successor

    Weekly survey: favourite Labour leader, House of Lords and David Cameron’s successor

    In just under two weeks we will find out who Labour’s next leader will be. There’s been plenty of discussion about who’s the best person to succeed Ed Miliband, so we thought it was a good time to give our readers a brief reprieve from talking about the current contest. Instead, we want to take a look back at Labour’s past and find out who your favourite Labour leader is. Is Keir Hardie your top choice? How about J.R. Clynes […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Forget left or right, it’s national identity Labour just doesn’t get

    Forget left or right, it’s national identity Labour just doesn’t get

    Patriotism and the left are uneasy bedfellows. For the party of devolution, it seems odd that this should be the case. Yet, if Labour’s bungled response to the rise of UKIP and Scottish nationalism betrays anything, it’s the Westminster prejudice that questions of national identity need be placated with legislation alone. Labour’s routing in Scotland was never retribution for Gordon Brown’s brave defence of both his Scottish and British identities. But it almost certainly was a comprehensive two fingers to […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The Government isn’t taking EU refugee crisis seriously

    The Government isn’t taking EU refugee crisis seriously

    The EU has a refugee crisis that is only growing. Germany estimates it may receive 800,000 by the end of the year. Hungary had 3,000 refugees enter its border a few days ago. This is more than half the number it received for all of 2013. Syria, Afghanistan, Libya. These war-torn countries are often where these refugees have fled looking for a better life. These people may enter Europe with little money, but they are the ones with the means […]

    Read more →
  • News Britain must play its part in dealing with the refugee crisis, says Yvette Cooper

    Britain must play its part in dealing with the refugee crisis, says Yvette Cooper

    Yvette Cooper will today say that Britain must play its part in the dealing with the refugee crisis across Europe.   In a speech today the Labour leadership contender will argue for Britain to be involved in more search and rescue operations, tackling trafficking and supporting refugees. “This has become a humanitarian crisis on a scale we have not seen on our continent since the Second World War. Yet we seem paralysed to respond”, she will say. Cooper will argue that […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit