Protection of Freedoms Bill


After Clause 110



Insert the following new Clause—

“Legal advocate for child victim of human trafficking

(1) It shall be a requirement that each child who might have been the victim of a human trafficking offence shall have a legal advocate appointed to represent the best interests of that child if the person who has parental responsibility fulfils any of the conditions set out in subsection (3).

(2) The legal advocate shall have the following responsibilities, to—

(a) advocate that all decisions taken are in the child’s best interest;

(b) advocate for the child to receive appropriate care, accommodation, medical treatment, including psychological assistance, education, translation and interpretation services;

(c) advocate for the child’s legal right to remain;

(d) advocate for the child’s access to legal and other representation where necessary;

(e) consult with, advise and keep the child victim informed of legal rights;

(f) contribute to identification of a plan to safeguard and promote the long-term welfare of the child based on an individual assessment of that child’s best interests;

(g) keep the child informed of all relevant immigration, criminal or compensation proceedings;

(h) provide a link between the child and various organisations which may provide services to the child;

(i) assist in establishing contact with the child’s family, where the child so wishes and it is in the child’s best interests;

(j) attend all police interviews with the child; and

(k) accompany the child whenever the child moves to new accommodation.

(3) Subsection (1) applies if the person who has parental responsibility for the child—

(a) is suspected of taking part in a human trafficking offence;

(b) has another conflict of interest with the child;

(c) is not in contact with the child; or

(d) is in a country outside the United Kingdom.

(4) In subsection (1), a legal advocate may be—

(a) an employee of a statutory body;

(b) an employee of a recognised charitable organisation; or

(c) a volunteer for a recognised charitable organisation.

(5) Where a legal advocate is appointed under subsection (1), it shall be a requirement that any relevant agency recognises the authority of the legal advocate in relation to the child.

(6) In subsection (5), a “relevant agency” means a person or organisation which—

(a) provides services to the child; or

(b) the child needs access to in relation to being a victim of a human trafficking offence.

(7) The Secretary of State—

(a) shall by order set out the arrangements for the appointment of a legal advocate;

(b) may make rules about the training courses to be completed before a person may exercise functions as a legal advocate; and

(c) shall by order designate organisations as a “recognised charitable organisation” for the purpose of this section.

(8) In this section—

“human trafficking offence” means an offence under section 59A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Trafficking people for sexual exploitation) or an offence under section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 (Trafficking people for labour and other exploitation); and

“parental responsibility” has the same meaning as section 3 of the Children Act 1989.””

Prepared 19th January 2012