It has been revealed that Luton airport is one of the main portals for child trafficking in the UK. Led by the Home Affairs Committee, an investigation is now under way to assess the number of children entering the UK via Luton and other regional airports to work as drug mules or sex workers.
Margaret Moran, MP for Luton South, is backing the investigation, following her own work in Ukraine with victims of Human Trafficking. Moran has been pushing for the investigation for over a year but became increasingly concerned after a report issued last month recorded that an average of 66 children go missing from schools in her own constituency every year. According to the Luton Local Safeguarding Children Board, there have been numerous examples of children applying for asylum and registering at schools for up to a term before disappearing from their registered address without proper investigation.
The latest reports follow the closure of a Luton brothel on the New Bedford Road in December 2007, as part of a fight to reduce human trafficking in the UK. Although security restrictions have got tougher at Heathrow, Gatwick and other major UK airports, this has left regional airports, such as Luton, open to targeting from child traffickers. Ms Moran has given her full support for the investigation, arguing that better policing of both schools and airports is needed to ensure the safety of children illegally entering the country. “We have an obligation to protect all children,” she said, “we need to act now to ensure no more young lives are ruined by this horrendous form of slavery.”