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.”

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • $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

  • Europe Featured News Corbyn and Miliband team up to warn of dangers of Brexit on climate change

    Corbyn and Miliband team up to warn of dangers of Brexit on climate change

    Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband will hit the campaign trail together today as they champion the leadership the EU has shown on tackling climate change – and warn that a vote to leave would put recent progress “at risk”. It is the first public appearance that former leader Miliband has made with his successor, and comes in a week in which rumours circulated that Corbyn was trying to coax him back into the Shadow Cabinet. During last year’s leadership contest, Corbyn praised Miliband’s […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Europe Featured Chuka Umunna: Don’t take the polls for granted – we must defeat every argument from the desperate Leave campaign

    Chuka Umunna: Don’t take the polls for granted – we must defeat every argument from the desperate Leave campaign

    “Take Control” – that is the slogan of the faltering Vote Leave campaign.  I say “faltering” because they are by no means beaten. Any Labour supporter lulled by the current polls into thinking the Remain camp is on course to win need only cast their minds back to 10pm on Thursday 7 May 2015 – then, after a string of polls suggesting we were on the cusp of winning the last general election, we suffered a body blow and found […]

    Read more →
  • Europe News Sadiq: A vote for Brexit would mean London turning its back on its history

    Sadiq: A vote for Brexit would mean London turning its back on its history

    Sadiq Khan has put forward a “patriotic” case for staying in the EU, arguing that London could swing the vote on June 23. In his first major intervention on the referendum since becoming London Mayor three weeks ago, Khan said the choice about whether to remain an EU member was about values, and that it is “quintessentially British” to want to co-operate internationally. In a speech earlier today, Khan said that an outward-looking, pro-EU stance was “the London way”, adding: “A […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News From the left wing? Momentum and McDonnell launch football initiative before Euro 2016

    From the left wing? Momentum and McDonnell launch football initiative before Euro 2016

    A new chapter is being written in the long history of sport and left-wing politics with the launch of Momentum Football. The Corbynista pressure group has teamed up with John McDonnell and Philosophy Football to launch a series of discussions in time for Euro 2016. Momentum aims to take advantage of the expected surge of coverage next month by holding its football first event on the day England play their opening match against former Cold War foes Russia in Marseilles. The […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Europe Featured Uncategorized Glenis Willmott: With four weeks to the vote it’s clear that Brexit would put at risk jobs, rights and security

    Glenis Willmott: With four weeks to the vote it’s clear that Brexit would put at risk jobs, rights and security

    In just four weeks’ time, voters go the polls in the EU referendum, and while there have been complaints that the campaigns have been too negative, Labour MEPs and the Labour Party will continue to make the positive case for our membership, day in day out, in workplaces, in communities and out on the doorstep, all the way to June 23. This vote isn’t about just maintaining the rights and jobs, influence and security that we have, but about a […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit