n Journal of Public Administration - Child trafficking for sexual exploitation within the United Kingdom : a north western perspective

Volume 48, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This paper discusses issues concerning child sex trafficking from the perspective of current UK policy and practice. It examines different academic ideological perspectives on child sex trafficking issues and highlights how these can be detrimental when applied to government policy and decision-making. Specific reference is made to the issue of internal child sex trafficking (ICST) in the UK, a previously under-researched area of child sexual exploitation. Recent high profile cases, such as the Rochdale Child Abuse enquiry have highlighted the historic and contemporary failures of agencies and institutions to deal with the specific issues at play. The role of the media and other agencies in perpetuating/dismantling victim stereotypes has been evaluated, and their role in raising awareness and combating the problem of child sexual exploitation and trafficking in the UK, examined. This paper poses the questions: Are ideological debates about child sex trafficking useful in informing policy and practice? Should ICST be analysed as a separate phenomenon to cross-border child sex trafficking? Finally, in terms of governance, does policy need to be better informed by victim-centred perspectives if practice is to be improved?

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