The National Crime Agency (NCA) leads on delivering increased operational activity on the different areas of modern slavery and human trafficking and this week (w/c September 16 2019) are focusing on the need for agencies to work together to better identify victims of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

As the specialist and grassroots CSE provider in Derbyshire – Safe and Sound welcome moves to raise awareness of this issue across all agencies and particularly frontline NHS staff so that the otherwise hidden victims of CSE can be identified and helped.

Victims of and those vulnerable to sexual exploitation may access GP Surgeries, A&E, Sexual Health Services, Maternity and Abortion Service providers, be visited by community nursing or they may also come into contact with adult and children’s social care services.

According to the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioners Office, 1 in 8 NHS staff have had contact with a patient known or suspected to be a victim of trafficking, rising to 1 in 5 among maternity services professionals. This emphasises the importance of the health care sector in reaching out to the hidden community of sexually exploited victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.

CSE is an issue that affects children and young people across all communities.  It is only by working together and better understanding this issue that we can protect some of the most vulnerable in our society and help to transform their lives for a positive future.