In 2001 the torso of a young Black male child was found in the River Thames, London. To try and identify the child the Metropolitan police asked every Education Authority in London how many Black boys aged between four and seven had gone missing. In one two month period between July and September 2001 300 Black boys were found to have disappeared.
A Spokesperson for the African Family Foundation – a network of African community based organisations in Britain and Africa, said they had identified three reasons for children being brought to Britain. Firstly children of African migrants who cannot bring their children in through formal channels rely on traffickers to bring them in. Secondly children are brought in to work as child prostitutes and thirdly as domestic servants. I would add a fourth reason and that is children who are sent to relatives in Britain for education and to improve their life choices. One such child was Victoria Climbie who was tortured and finally murdered by her aunt and the aunt’s boyfriend.
Whilst these stories of African children in UK are horrific some 77,000 children go missing in the UK alone every year. Globally every year thousands of children are abducted and trafficked across international borders and never reunited with their parents. What happens to all these children some babies, many under the age of 7? They are sold into slavery as child labourers and domestic servants, sexually exploited by prostitution and pornography rings and used as child soldiers.