The International Conference on Emergency Medicine and the Modern Slavery Bill 2014

This week I’ve been in Hong Kong at the International Conference on Emergency Medicine (ICEM) hosted by the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM).

 

It has been another busy week! Along with a trainee, Dr Anna Williams from Birmingham, I helped to run a 3 hour rolling workshop on the emergency assessment of children with potential neck injuries. I can’t really take any credit for the preparation or creation of the workshop as this was expertly done by Anna including QR codes and translation of part of it into Mandarin but I very much enjoyed the discussions that I had with the delegates who attended. In particular the discussions with attendees from Australia were really interesting – rather than using three-point cervical spine immobilisation (using a hard collar, blocks and tapes) the Australians simply use a hard collar for routine cases, without apparent adverse consequences.

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The teaching we do in the UK generally comes from the Advanced Paediatric Life Support organisation (ALSG) who are currently updating their teaching materials for the next edition of the course which should be released in the near future. I hope that they will consider the Australian experiences, and the evidence behind this, as if we are able to move away from the full protection we currently use, towards a system of primarily using hard collars only, this would be much more pleasant for the children involved and a lot easier for the staff!

 

Later in the week I was invited to deliver a training workshop at the British Consulate in Hong Kong to teach staff about the recognition of potential cases of child abuse when they are undertaking welfare visits or are carrying out their consular duties. As well as British Consulate staff from Hong Kong we were also joined by a member of staff who had travelled from the Consulate in Guangzhou (China) and representatives from the Embassy of the United States of America, the Embassy of Switzerland and the Embassy of Sweden. It was a truly international workshop!

 

One of the things that stuck me from the discussions and questions following my presentation is that Consular staff overseas would welcome access to appropriate experts back in the UK who are able to provide advice about the more difficult cases they deal with. I have therefore come up with the idea of developing a Pro-Bono Child Protection Advisory Panel (PB-CPAP), potentially hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, to provide advice if requested. There is already precedent within the FCO – I’m a member of the pro-bono (ie without charge) medical panel to review cases of deaths of British Citizens abroad (in my case to look at childhood deaths) – so the infrastructure already exists to create such a PB-CPAP and I hope that there will be further discussions about this in due course.

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I ended the week with an invited lecture on the recognition of child abuse in children who present to Emergency Departments. This was the first opportunity I have had to start disseminating some of the learning I have gained from my Winston Churchill Fellowship travels which began back in April 2014. There were people present from a number of countries around the world and there was a great question at the end of my presentation from a colleague in Cardiff about Mandatory Reporting (a topic I have not forgotten about and will be declaring my views on in the near future). It has been really good to get individual feedback from people telling me how their clinical practise will change as a result of the presentation I gave – this is a boost for me to hear and should also be good for children who attend Emergency Departments whether or not they are at risk of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, exploitation or trafficking.

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It is on these latter two aspects that there have been significant developments back in the UK during this week with the government’s publication of the Modern Slavery Bill 2014 (which they hope to enact as the Modern Slavery Act 2014).

 

I have written previously about my views on earlier drafts of this legislation, which has undergone some modification since the first version was released, but now that it is about to undergo its second reading in the Houses of Parliament it is crucial that the parliamentarians that will be discussing and debating this legislation recognise that the legislation, if enacted in its current form, will not deliver the protection to children that it ought to do.

 

I have summarised the changes that I believe are necessary here:

 

TITLE

This ought to be changed to:

“Human Trafficking, Exploitation and Modern Slavery Bill”

 

If enacted the primary legislation should become:

“Human Trafficking, Exploitation and Modern Slavery Act 2014″

 

PREAMBLE

This ought to be changed to:

“A BILL to Make provision about slavery, servitude, exploitation and forced or compulsory labour; to make provision about human trafficking; to make provision for an Anti-slavery Commissioner; and for connected purposes related to adults and children”

 

Section 1(2)

This is particularly problematic for a number of reasons. Section 1 currently defines slavery in accordance with Article 4 of the Human Rights Convention (HRC) however Article 4 doesn’t actually define slavery in sufficient detail therefore it is not possible to construe section 1 in accordance with Article 4 of the HRC in any meaningful way, leaving this Modern Slavery Bill 2014 without a clear definition of slavery.

 

Article 4 reads as follows:

“Prohibition of slavery and forced labour

1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

3. For the purpose of this Article the term “forced or compulsory labour” shall not include:

(a) any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed according to the provisions of Article 5 of this Convention or during conditional release from

such detention;

(b) any service of a military character or, in case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service;

(c) any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the com-munity;

(d) any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.”

 

Given the inadequate definition of slavery and servitude it is, in my view, likely that the cases which will be recognised or dealt with will be the headline-grabbing ones, well publicised in the media, rather than the majority of cases where the evidence may be somewhat weaker or the cases themselves may not be as headline-grabbing. It is therefore likely to be the case that professionals may still not recognise cases they are dealing with as ‘slavery’ or other offences dealt with under this proposed legislation. Although this Bill is clearly intended to be a criminal Bill it is important that there is consistency with civil protection rights for children, such as under the Children Act 1989, such that the cases where evidence is weaker, but children are still at risk, are properly dealt with.

 

In interpreting the concepts under Article 4 of the Convention there are international instruments which are relied upon, such as the 1926 Slavery Convention (Siliadin v. France, § 122), Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery (C.N. and V. v. France, § 90), ILO Convention No. 29 (Forced Labour Convention) (Van der Mussele v. Belgium, § 32) and Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, 2000 (Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia, § 282).

 

Although this detail is lacking from the current version of the Bill, it does not need to be inserted in such a comprehensive way if more detailed definitions of slavery or servitude are included within the Bill so that it is much more clear to professionals, in a standardised way, what they should be identifying. At present the Bill is far too vague and I would prefer the following definitions of slavery or servitude to be included within it, in the detail shown below:

 

“the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised” (Siliadin v. France, § 122).

 

“a particularly serious form of denial of freedom” including “in addition to the obligation to perform certain services for others … the obligation for the [person] to live on another person’s property and the impossibility of altering his condition” (Siliadin v. France, § 123).

 

Section 1(4)

This should be revised to include an explicit statement about persons who may have a disability. I suggest rewording as follows:

 

(4) For example, regard may be had to any of the person’s personal circumstances (such as their age, family relationships, the presence of any disability, and any mental or physical illness) which may make the person more vulnerable than other persons.

 

Section 3(2)

This is too weak. It refers back to section 1 which, as discussed above, is non-specific. Section 3 therefore needs tightening which could be resolved by revising Section 1 as described above. As currently worded it will be difficult for professionals to know whether or not the behaviour is slavery or servitude and it will be difficult for appropriate guidance to be developed which is consistent across England and Wales. Consistency is incredibly important in child protection cases and, if for that reason alone, Section 1 and, by reference, Section 3 ought to be more fully detailed.

 

Section 3(3)(a)(i)

I would prefer this section to be expanded to include offences under Section 1(1)(a), (b) and (c) of the Protection of Children Act 1978 rather than just (a) so that it applies to the distribution of, showing of or possessing with intent to distribute, indecent photographs of children rather than just the taking of them or permitting of taking of them as it is my belief that these are all forms of exploitation in its widest sense even if the perpetrator of offences under Sections 1(1)(b) and 1(1)(c) does not necessarily know the individual child involved.

 

Section 3(6)(a)

This ought to have a definition of ‘young’ to make explicitly clear that the definition of a child is someone who has not reached their 18th birthday.

 

I suggest rewording this section as follows:

 

(a) he or she is mentally or physically ill or disabled, is young (aged under 18 years of age) or has a family relationship with a particular person, and

 

Section 4

Unfortunately this section currently just applies to “trafficking” and excludes “exploitation, slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour”. This Section therefore ought to refer not just to Section 2, as it does currently, but to Sections 1 and 3 as well.

 

Section 15(3)

This Section cross-references Schedule 2 which purely deals with trafficking. This section needs to be re-worded and re-cross-referenced so that it includes proper references to all of the definitions of offences set out in the proposed revised preamble I have set out above.

 

Section 35(2)

This is too weak. At present the provision of information, education or training is optional under this section. This must to be changed such that the provision of information and standardised educational or training material(s) is mandatory in order that duplication of effort at a regional or local level is minimised and so that standardisation of education and training across England and Wales is more likely to be facilitated.

 

Section 39

This needs to be tightened to cross reference Section 2 (and not just 1 and 3).

 

Sections 42(1)(a), 41(1)(b) and 41(1)(c)

These need to be revised to include exploitation as at present the mandatory guidance under this section applies purely to trafficking and slavery.

 

Section 43(3)

This needs to be revised to include exploitation, servitude and slavery (not just trafficking).

 

Section 44

This section is too unclear – it needs to explicitly state whether or not the National Health Service is one of these public authorities or if the definition is to be released by another legal means. There are arguments for and against including the NHS here – but that is a separate discussion

 

Turning something as important as child trafficking and exploitation into a headline-grabbing piece of legislation, by using the emotive term ‘slavery’, is only appropriate if the substance of that legislation is comprehensive enough, and detailed enough, to really make a difference to the people it is designed to protect whether through punishment of offenders or prevention of offences. In its current form the Modern Slavery Bill 2014 lacks that detail and it is beholden upon everyone involved in our parliamentary processes to make the changes I believe are necessary to improve it into powerful primary legislation that will be more likely to better protect children from exploitation and trafficking, and appropriately punish those people responsible for these heinous crimes against society.

 

I’m very sad to say that my travels are coming to an end and I will shortly have to return to the UK – where I’ll be attending the Annual Representative Meeting of the British Medical Association and then I’m sitting as a tribunal chairman for a week before returning to my clinical job on Friday 11 July 2014, in my new personalised Caribbean Blue Scrubs which are, apparently, waiting for me!

 

The process of turning everything I have seen and learned over the past three months will then begin and I hope to have a comprehensive report ready for publication by 31 October 2014. Condensing everything I have experienced since I left the UK on 13 April 2014 is going to be a significant challenge! It will take a great deal of thinking and a lot of reflection to come up with a series of recommendations that can realistically be worked on and implemented in the future.

 

That reflection process will certainly be helped by sitting quietly, emptying my mind of extraneous thoughts, watching the sun set once more over the ocean from Ku De Ta and relaxing in the peaceful tranquillity that is Uma Sapna, Seminyak, Indonesia – a place of total serenity – where I am spending two nights in quiet contemplation before heading back to Singapore.

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Bliss.

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Living on a railway line

I spent yesterday afternoon on a railway line. Not because I’m a train-spotter – I’m much more of an aeroplane person – but because that’s where the mobile clinic was held.

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If your entire community lived beside the tracks – and when I say beside the tracks I really mean beside the tracks – and you had very limited resources (financial or otherwise) to get you to the nearest clinic, and the government-run health care facilities were beyond your reach, you’d be entirely dependent on someone bringing your healthcare to you.

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Crouched under the tin roof of a raised wooden platform on stilts above the rubbish beside the train tracks, hiding from the monsoon-like rains, I saw an afternoon clinic full of patients with the Medical Team Leader, the M’Lop Tapang doctor and Maggie Eno MBE, Co-Founder of M’Lop Tapang.

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I spend this morning in a clinic at the main M’Lop Tapang centre – a whole queue of children had been specifically brought back to see me for a second opinion in the fantastic facilities run by the Medical Team Leader Miss Ngov Chanrary – a trained nurse – whose amazing leadership and organisational skills have helped to create a clinic which is clean, safe and accessible and delivers the highest possible standards of healthcare within the resources available.

 

I spent this afternoon on a beach. Not sunbathing in the glorious sunshine that has appeared now that the rain has been and gone but instead walking around with the head of child protection for the M’Lop Tapang organisation, finding children who were working on the beach, or living just off it, and who were all at risk of serious child abuse, to see the rapport-building and education that is delivered to these children to slowly encourage them into a different way of life – one of education, development and opportunities.

 

I could write about the poverty and desperate situation that many of the children and families are living in beside the railway line; I could show you photographs of their houses which may only have a tarpaulin or banner as their only waterproofing; I could write about the children I’ve seen in clinic this morning, and the diagnoses we’ve made together as a team, including kwashiorkor, likely beta-thalassaemia trait, global developmental delay with significant iron deficiency anaemia, fractures secondary to osteogenesis imperfecta, left lower lobe pneumonia… to name but a few; I could upload photographs showing how the children working on the beaches of southern Cambodia interact with the tourists who come and stay in guesthouses here; I could show you photographs of Cambodian people begging for money on the beach or of children collecting thrown-away cans and bottles to try and make $1 per day from recycling; I could write about the desperate lengths that families have to go to in order to try and get some income with absolutely no support from the State whatsoever; I could tell you about the tiny little child I saw in clinic this morning who was left in a cage-like box on the street whilst her Mother went out to try and make some money.

 

But I’m not going to.

 

This isn’t a Comic Relief broadcast. I don’t need to show the photographs of the abject poverty and horrendous living conditions that I’ve seen many families and children, with or without families, living in here in Cambodia. That wouldn’t be dignified for the children and families who are involved the vast majority of whom are trying their utter best to make ends meet and to improve the situation for themselves and their families, none of whom chose this way of life. But you can take it from me that I’ve seen those situations, they are very real and they have a disastrous effect on the lives of the families and children involved.

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What I am going to tell you about is the success stories. And the reason I’ve chosen to do that is because out of each one of the horrendous stories I could tell you about there is real hope for the children and families involved – that hope comes not from statutory services provided by a government agency, which are shockingly absent in the community I’ve visited – but it comes from the fantastic work that is being done by the M’Lop Tapang development organisation, co-founded by British nurse Maggie Eno over 11 years ago. M’Lop Tapang is helping each and every family or child whose tragic story I could have told – I mean each and every one – and their ethos, professionalism, expertise and community-engagement are things we can all learn from and translate into improvements we can all make, no matter what our backgrounds or home countries are.

 

M’Lop Tapang creates an environment where all children are allowed to grow up in their families feeling safe, healthy and happy, a society where all children are respected and treated equally and a community where all children are given choices about their future.

 

So, why is this needed? The only way to explain is to tell the story of my time with the team explaining the services that they provide to children in this region – but what is crucially important to remember when reading those stories is that these services do not complement other government or State funded services. There are simply no other services here. If M’Lop Tapang did not exist the government would not step in to provide help to the people living and working on the streets of this region, the people would be, quite simply, left to fend for themselves with all of the problems that this would bring.

 

There are a significant number of children who end up here in Sihanoukville separated from their families who might live in other parts of the country. Children often run away from an environment where domestic violence prevails and whole families, with a very broad definition of what a family is, migrate here and end up living on the streets, or beside a railway line, and working on those same streets or on the beaches.

 

The excellent team of social workers that are part of M’Lop Tapang are able to find out about a new child or family moving into the area within 24 hours of them arriving. It is then that the rapport building can begin and that educational work can take place with the family to show them that there is a different way of life they can access for free, through the outstanding work done by M’Lop Tapang, which can help them find employment, help them to come off drugs, help them to find accommodation, help to educate the children, provide nutritional advice and supplementation where appropriate and help to protect the vulnerable from all forms of abuse.

 

There are a number of programmes offered to children and families with the key focus of M’Lop Tapang’s work being reintegration of children to their families even if that means a lengthy search throughout many regions of the country.

 

I’ve been stunned by the sheer volume of children helped by this organisation – which grew out of a simple desire to make things better for the children who were living and working on the streets and beaches of this region over 10 years ago.

 

There is a comprehensive educational programme for the older children including mechanics, plumbing, electrics, sewing, screen printing and the very tasty, and incredibly reasonably priced, training restaurant, Sandan (where I’ve had two delicious dinners this week – try it, you won’t be disappointed!)

 

Part of the battle that the staff have is convincing the children that they can have an education, that this will serve them much better than street selling as they grow older, and that there are significant dangers to living and working on the streets and beaches including all forms of exploitation and abuse. I can quite understand why this can be an uphill struggle for the staff and why it takes patience and dedication to slowly build trust with the families and children – if you had the choice between earning up to $20 per day selling things on the beaches or you were a young child and had nothing but could earn $1 per day collecting litter – then you might do these over choosing to enter educational programmes. It is for that reason that M’Lop Tapang have to make their programmes not only educationally beneficial for the children and young people entering them, but also that they must be financially viable for the people accessing them.

 

In 2014 M’Lop Tapang has outreach programmes which include:

  • Family reintegration
  • Street and beach working programme
  • Community education
  • Baby care programme
  • Back to school programme
  • Mobile library programme
  • Home repair business set up
  • Alcohol programme
  • Home based programme

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If you are a parent who has young children and you have no resources then you may have no option other than to send the children out to work on the streets to bring in money so that you have food to eat and shelter from the extreme elements (torrential rain to bright sunshine in the space of a morning). That is where the real benefit of the baby care programme comes in. As well as enabling these children to access health and developmental support for 5.5 days a week, it also allows the parent(s) to go out to work, rather than the children, as they are being cared for by a trusted organisation.

 

If you are a child and you have been living and working on the streets for as long as you can remember, you may not know what a school is let alone whether you ought to go. That is where the educational programme comes in. By delivering an accelerated national curriculum programme in M’Lop Tapang’s main centre in a way that it fun, interesting and stimulating for the children, the team are able to educate children so that they can be reintegrated into government education and so that they have a much better chance in the future.

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M’Lop Tapang isn’t a health organisation but they have had to set up a clinic as the burden of disease and serious clinical pathology which exists here is significant. It is one of the cleanest and most efficiently run health centres I’ve ever worked in or visited and the star of the show has to be Ngov Chanrary – the Medical Team Leader. Providing care, assessment and treatment to hundreds of children and their families, this is an incredibly impressive programme at M’Lop Tapang and it doesn’t just stop there – they take that clinical expertise into the community, to the railway lines, to the areas where people are living in make-shift houses and in communities on the streets via their Mobile Medical Clinic programme. The clinical expertise of the Medical Team Leader is superb and the coordinated, efficient way that the healthcare delivery is organised is excellent. And what if a child goes missing, does not attend for follow up or does not appear to be being treated appropriately? Well the comprehensive team of social workers are very rapidly on the case to locate the family and the child and to work with them to ensure that the child’s health improvement is of paramount importance.

 

Through the educational programme provided at the main centre, M’Lop Tapang have educated hundreds of children ranging right from babies to those nearing the normal school leaving age with specific classes for IT, Art, Music, Special Needs, Sports in addition to the traditional school subjects.

 

I’ve been absolutely stunned by the efficiency and incredibly high level of professional activities within the M’Lop Tapang community. The organisation is visible wherever you go in the town, be that between bars and restaurants, on the streets, in the hotels, on the beaches or even on a tuk-tuk. They have managed to create an atmosphere where the community is looking out for children and families at risk of abuse and where everyone is moulding together much better than I have seen in many other communities as I have been travelling to different places looking at services provided in different regions. This organisation really does turn around peoples’ lives, and you can see their work here:

 

http://youtu.be/UYSXnGysYVg

 

And all of the above is done by a development organisation – with running costs of £1million per year – with not a look in from statutorily provided services. A small price to pay for the literally thousands of children and families they protect from abuse, educate and deliver health care to each year. If they can achieve all of that, with such enthusiasm and professionalism, within the budget they have then we too must be able to critically look at the services we provide in our own organisations and the ways that we work both internally and externally, and make changes for the better in the future.

 

But what can we do in the UK and what can we learn from the time that I have been spending here in Sihanoukville? Well, quite simply, a huge amount! I’ve seen at first hand the circumstances which place children at risk of exploitation, and some of the presenting features of those who have been exploited. I’ve seen how crucially important the social determinants of health are and how it is through education and social support that health can be improved without necessarily focussing on health as the primary target of the intervention, whatever that might be. I’ve seen the sorts of services that help protect children from abuse rather than simply respond to it when it does occur, I’ve learned through the teaching I’ve done that the issues faced by us in the UK are incredibly similar to those faced by the people living here in Cambodia – of course, the reference scale is different, but fundamentally the core problems, and potentially some of the solutions, are incredibly similar and inextricably linked, and I’ve seen the real positive successes that a community can have when that community works together towards a common goal.

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I’ll be staying in contact with M’Lop Tapang staff to follow up on the patients I’ve seen in clinic to see how they progress. The staff working here have some of the toughest jobs of any people I have encountered and their success with such a huge number of children and families over the last 10 years should be an inspiration to us all.

 

Next week my adventures will take me to Hong Kong to lecture at the International Conference on Emergency Medicine and to deliver training to some British, and other friendly mission, Consular staff, then it will be downhill all the way as my flight back to the UK starts to loom. For now, though, it is time to locate the anti-histamine supply as I seem to have become a tasty snack for a gazillion nibbling insects that appear to have enjoyed their dinner just as much as I did mine at Sandan!

 

Protecting the children of Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia

I’m now in Sihanoukville spending time with the fantastic organisation M’Lop Tapang, which means “under the protection of the umbrella tree”. I survived Cambodian immigration and a 3.5 hour “seat-gripping” car journey down to the south west of the country which included an unscheduled stop to pick up a Buddhist Monk for a lift on the way.

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The driver had but a few words of English and the Monk had none. I have about two words of poorly pronounced Khmer. It made for a particularly quiet car journey but we managed to some how communicate using our hands, facial expressions, body language and a lot of laughter – especially when our route was blocked by some free-roaming cows!

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M’lop Tapang has been working with the street children of Sihanoukville since 2003. They currently work with over 1200 families and over 3500 children at ten specialised centres in the Sihanoukville area providing shelter, medical care, sports and arts, education and training, counseling, family support and protection from all types of abuse. But more of that at the end of the week…

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The place I’m staying in Sihanoukville is a ChildSafe hotel. It is estimated that over 14000 street children live in Cambodia. The term “street children” is not one that I particularly like as it can label children inappropriately but it is really a short-hand way of saying “children who live or work on the streets or beaches of countries around the world”. All of these children are at greater risk of being abused and often have difficulty, for a variety of reasons, accessing healthcare including in an emergency. Units such as the one I work in back in Manchester don’t exist here and the children who are living or working on the streets are often dependent on healthcare being taken to them rather than expecting them to access fixed facilities. More about the mobile medical team, another time!

Travellers to countries such as Cambodia can often unwittingly and unknowingly increase the vulnerability of these children and it is for that reason, as someone who loves to travel, I’ve decided to write about the ChildSafe initiative.

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ChildSafe doesn’t just work in Cambodia. They have projects running in Thailand, Lao PDR and Indonesia. They help to protect children on the beaches, on the streets, in internet cafés, in hotels and guesthouses, in restaurants, and in the transport and tuk-tuk industry.

There are seven simple ways you can help to better protect children in other countries and indeed back in the UK or the country where you live.

 

  • Support ChildSafe Network members: Mototaxis, tuktuks, hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, internet cafés, tour operators and many others have been trained to protect children from abusive situations. You can look out for the ChildSafe logo or check out the website for further information

 

  • Think twice before buying anything from children on the street, beach or at temples and don’t give money to begging children or parents with infants: buying things or giving money in this way helps keep them on the streets. If you have money to spare and want to donate then please find and support services that help these children have a better future. If you want to buy things then look out for the various shops that support the ChildSafe initiative such as Tapang’s

 

  • Purchase ChildSafe certified products to support vulnerable children and their families: this is a really effective alternative to giving money directly to children. These products are made by parents so children can go back to school or they are made by former street children in training for they can find employment

 

  • Be aware of the dangers of orphanage tourism: a lot of orphanages in this region do not have child protection policies in place to ensure the safety of children in their care. Good organisations do have policies in place and these should not allow visitors to just drop in and have access to children

 

  • Don’t take children back to your hotel took with you, no matter how concerned you are: if you do want to help a child in need then refer to local social workers or ChildSafe referral partners who can help

 

  • Avoid places that tolerate prostitution: with around one third of sex workers in the Mekong region being between 12-17 years of age, going to places that tolerate this form of sexual abuse supports an environment that places those vulnerable children at risk of significant harm

 

  • Keep your eyes wide open – you will spot things if you look! If you see a child in danger then inform the local authorities or call one of the ChildSafe hotlines widely promoted in this region

 

So, how can this help us back at home? Well, for a start experiencing other cultures, other countries and the work of other organisations enhances our knowledge, makes us more attuned to the specific strengths and weaknesses of the communities that people live in, gives us a worldwide perspective to our work and enables us to more fully understand the background circumstances that some of our patients, or the people with whom we interact or work, may have come from.

Global tourism is big business. A significant number of people from within the UK travel abroad throughout the year and we have one of the busiest airports in the world in London bringing people to or through our country. But what can you do to help those children who might otherwise be harmed?

You don’t have to donate any money to be able to help those children in other countries who might be at risk of abuse; you don’t have to give of your time to try to reduce the chances of them being exploited and you don’t have to volunteer, or make significant changes to the way that you live or spend your holidays, to make a real difference to the lives of children which otherwise might be ruined by abuse, exploitation and trafficking.

What do you have to do? Well, it is very easy. All you have to do is to choose carefully and think is the service you are about to use, or the place you are about to stay, or the retailer you are about buy something from, “ChildSafe”. That’s it – simple really ;-).

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