New project hoping to protect children with special educational needs and disabilities from modern slavery

A NEW project from the University of Portsmouth is hoping to protect children with special educational needs and disabilities from modern slavery.

It is one of five projects announced by the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre aiming to identify opportunities to redesign wider laws and policies to better safeguard against modern slavery.

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The Portsmouth research project will analyse the gaps in the UK’s response to internal trafficking of children with special educational needs and disabilities within England and Wales.

The University of Portsmouth

Anita Franklin, professor of Childhood Studies at the University of Portsmouth, who is leading the project, said: ‘The interplay of a number of factors increases the risk for this group of children and young people to be trafficked and exploited.

‘Yet these children can be invisible or hidden in plain sight where neither their exploitation or additional needs are recognised or met. Higher rates of school exclusions, isolation and lack of support for families have been shown to impact this group disproportionately.’