News & Events

IOM is pleased to announce that its pilot project providing specific child trafficking and modern slavery support to foster carers in the London Borough of Croydon has been awarded funding from the Home Office’s Child Trafficking Protection Fund.

Through the project, IOM and the London Borough of Croydon will work with foster carers in the borough who look after unaccompanied asylum seeking children, particularly from Albanian and Vietnam, who have been identified as victims of modern slavery or who might be at risk. The first aim of the project is to increase the confidence and capacity of foster carers and social workers to look after children survivors of modern slavery, including with specific cultural information on Albania and Vietnam. The second aim is to directly support children who have been trafficked or are at risk, by developing effective and culturally tailored information to improve their understanding of foster care, the support offered and the risks of leaving care.

The London Borough of Croydon is one of the UK’s local authorities with highest numbers of children identified as victims of modern slavery being referred into care, with children from Albania and Vietnam making up the majority of all cases. In common with many other local authorities across London and the UK, Croydon faces issues of these children going missing from care. This project therefore proposes a new approach to supporting the foster carers who receive these children, and the children themselves, to reduce the likelihood of their going missing after being placed in care.

Sarah Di Giglio, IOM UK’s Senior Policy and Programme Officer for Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery says:
“IOM has been working with the London Borough of Croydon on human trafficking and modern slavery since 2013 through the provision of training to frontline professionals to increase their levels of awareness and understanding of the issue. We are now very pleased to be extending our work with Croydon to better support foster carers and children within the Borough and in doing so, engage our offices in both Albania and Vietnam to garner expertise and cultural knowledge on the two countries”.

Oretha Wofford, Child Trafficking Lead for the London Borough of Croydon adds:
“This project will help us to give appropriate, robust and culturally sensitive support to foster carers looking after children who are survivors of trafficking as well as the children themselves. We are committed to reducing the risk of trafficked children going missing from care in Croydon and are pleased to be working with IOM on this initiative”.

UPDATE: Barnardo’s is the child trafficking expert organisation for the project, delivering training and developing resources to support foster carers in their understanding of why Albanian and Vietnamese young people go missing from care, the risks of trafficking and how to respond. Several training session dates are on offer to foster carers for Croydon Council, including from independent fostering agencies, from 3 October 2017 to 14 November 2017.

For more information, please contact Sarah Di Giglio on or on 0207 811 6062.