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‘Human trafficking’ put in the spotlight
HUMAN trafficking will come under the spotlight in Bournemouth this year as part of a new conference.
The event was announced as police continue to hunt for Suong Thi Bui, 17, who went missing from her home in Ringwood last Saturday.
There are growing fears for the safety of the teenager, who was brought to the UK by a criminal gang involved in human trafficking and speaks little English.
Boscombe’s Salvation Army Centre in Palmerston Road will host the conference on December 10 together with BCHA and the Purple Teardrop Campaign.
Mandy Goodenough, head of children, young people and families at BCHA, said: “Through working with victims, we see first-hand just how devastating the effects of human trafficking can be.
“The horrors faced by victims, which may include being sexually exploited, forced into labour or being made to commit criminal offences, leave a lasting impact on people.
“The physical, mental and emotional scars will stay with them forever.
“As well as the police, there is a need for other front-line professionals and employees of local authorities, non-governmental organisations and charities to be aware of the signs of human trafficking and be able to respond to these. Together we can work to end the trafficking of hundreds of men, women and children every year."
Suong, who was in the care of social services, has only been in the UK for a short time.
She is an orphan, has no family and few contacts in the UK, and police fear she may be sleeping rough.
Major Ray Begley of the Salvation Army said: “From the very beginning, the charity has been involved in helping the victims of trafficking. Our roots are in fighting social injustice.
“For the last few years, the Salvation Army has been helping those trafficked to the UK, and it is a cause we are passionate about.”
For more information about the conference, or to buy early-bird tickets, visit bcha.org.uk/ humantrafficking.
Anyone with information about Suong is asked to call the Western Area CID on 101 or Crimestoppers in 0800555111.
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