Interactive research event seeks to develop services for trafficked children

Dr Alinka Gearon from the University of Bath has secured funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to run a seminar showcasing her research on child trafficking services.

Dr Gearon (pictured) from the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, will be running ‘Child trafficking: Children’s voices informing practice’ – an interactive seminar selected for funding by the ESRC.

Alinka’s event, taking place on 8 Nov 2018, will run during the ESRC Festival of Social Sciences 2018, which is aimed at engaging the public with social science research. The seminar is based on her research Child trafficking: Experiences of separated children on the move (Gearon, 2016). This study explored children’s experiences of being trafficked and support services in England. The findings have a distinct applied focus aimed at improving child trafficking practice.

During the event, a mixed group of practitioners from different sectors will share their front-line experiences and challenges, and discuss examples and service responses. They will also have the rare opportunity to hear accounts directly from young people who were trafficked as children, and ask questions in order to develop awareness and get a better understanding of how children experienced the services they deliver.

The aim of the event is to advance knowledge in this area and bridge the gap between academic research, children’s voices and practitioners’ experiences.

Dr Alinka Gearon said: “This event is a great opportunity to engage with front-line practitioners and share what children say about the services they receive. A key message from the research is that children and young people are not heard. I hope that direct participation of young people in this event will go some way in addressing this concern.”

Alinka is currently seeking funding to disseminate the findings to another important group affected by trafficking – children and young people. To support the prevention of child trafficking, there are plans for a collaborative arts and media project involving trafficked young people.