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10 October 2021, 3:45pm to 12 October 2021, 12:30pm
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Practitioner Responses to Child Trafficking: Emerging Good Practice is a cross-sector conference taking place at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park on 10-12 October 2021, in partnership with the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton.

Child trafficking, exploitation and safeguarding practitioners are meeting with academics, civil society and survivor organisations and policymakers, for candid conversations about the role of practitioner evidence in responding to child exploitation in the UK, and how such evidence is shared in relation to informing future research and policy needs and improving survivor outcomes.

This year is the United Nations International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, and the ideas and practical recommendations that emerge from these discussions will directly inform policy and practice across the UK.

Our interactive programme encourages active participation by everyone involved and sessions are designed to enable joined-up thinking and the sharing of best practice. As is custom at Cumberland Lodge, the conference takes place in a collaborative, roundtable format, and is subject to the Chatham House Rule, to enable frank and open discussions.

This conference incorporates the views and expertise of survivors and explores how decisions to safeguard children from exploitation are made in the best interests of the child, and facilitate the voice of the child.

You can follow updates on the conference on Twitter using #clGoodPractice and #ProtectingChildren.

Call for evidence

A call for evidence was launched earlier this year by the IASC, to inform these conference discussions. Please visit the IASC website for further details.


Children around the world are disproportionately affected by modern slavery and human trafficking.

There are an estimated 40.3 million victims of modern slavery globally, and one in four of these victims are children. Children may be subjected to compulsory labour, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation or forced criminality including the trafficking of drugs.

In the UK, estimates of the extent of modern slavery vary widely, from 10,000 to 13,000 to 136,000 victims. In 2020, 10,613 people identified as potential victims were referred to the UK’s National Referral Mechanism, almost half of which (4,946) were children.

The growing recognition and identification of county lines criminal activity in the UK, in particular, has had a marked impact on the number of cases being identified. There is extensive, ongoing research in this field, but a pressing need to improve knowledge exchange between academia, policymakers and practitioners.

Aims and outcomes

Policymakers require a better understanding of the evidence practitioners have about what works, what looks promising, and how evidence is most effectively shared.

We ask:

  • Which interventions look promising in terms of how we respond to child trafficking and might improve survivor outcomes, and what can we learn from them?
  • What are the best ways of sharing evidence and insight across sectors and agencies?
  • How can practitioner evidence be harnessed to inform future research and policy development?


Key themes of discussion and cross-sector recommendations from this conference will be presented in a joint Cumberland Lodge and IASC report, to be launched in central London later this year, and shared widely in print and digital formats.

The report will be prepared by our independent, freelance Research Associate, Ailish Saker, and the draft will be reviewed, ahead of publication, at a smaller consultation involving conference representatives and further specialists involved in responding to child exploitation.

Ailish has also written a pre-conference briefing document which is available here

All conference and consultation participants will have the chance to be listed as contributors to the final report.

How to register

We warmly welcome all registrations of interest in attending this conference, but attendance is by invitation only to ensure that we maintain an expert and balanced representation.

If you would like to join this two-day conference, please use the 'Make Enquiry' button on this webpage to let us know how and why you would like to contribute.

Please note that this conference is limited to a small number of expert contributors, although we may be able to include in-person and virtual sessions to facilitate wider participation.

Attendance at this conference is supported by our charitable funds, to ensure a diverse and inclusive participation, but we ask for a nominal fee of £50.00 towards the costs of hosting the event, from all those who intend to take part in the two-day conference and are able to contribute.

Participants will be provided with overnight accommodation at Cumberland Lodge on 10 and 11 October 2021, and all meals during the conference.

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