Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTAs)

Child trafficking is the recruitment and movement of children for the purposes of exploitation. Children are most commonly exploited for sexual purposes, exploited to carry out forced labour or criminal activity, or held in servitude.

There were 549 estimated cases of potentially trafficked children in 2012, though it is thought that this number is likely to be far higher due to the hidden nature of this crime. Statistics show that girls are more likely to be trafficked than boys and that children are most commonly trafficked from South East Asia, West Africa and Eastern Europe.

Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTA)
ICTAs are professionals who support children who have potentially been trafficked.

The ICTAs provision was trialled by Barnardo’s in 2014/15 and they have now set up the ICTAs Service in three early adopter sites across England and Wales. The role of  the ICTA is outlined in s.48 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and within the interim guidance ‘Child trafficking advocates: early adopter sites‘ issued by the government.

All local authorities within Greater Manchester, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Wales have been chosen to become early adopter sites of ICTAs. This means that all children identified as potentially trafficked in those areas must be referred into Barnardo’s ICTA Service and an ICTA will be allocated and make contact with the child within 24 hours. Making a referral quickly after identification could support in reducing missing and re-trafficking.

To make a referral
Call the 24/7 Referral Line 0800 043 4303 and the ICTA Service will support you to make the referral over the phone.

Or send a completed referral form to the secure mailbox (for cjsm compatible accounts only) at

The Trafficking Referral Form can be found on the website at

Further information can be found in our Child Trafficking resource.


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