The UK government has admitted it ‘accidentally’ sold at least 10,000 children to known child traffickers in the last year alone.
Tens of thousands of children mysteriously disappear from government care every year, where they are groomed by sex traffickers, recently released government data reveals.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: It comes amid concerns that young people are falling into the hands of gangs grooming children, following recent scandals in Rotherham and Telford.
Some of the children were reported missing for more than a month, the Daily Telegraph reports.
There were 1,720 cases of children disappearing for more than a week, among 60,720 total reported disappearances last year, the Department for Education statistics show.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion, who has campaigned for child safety following the grooming scandal, said it was ‘truly shocking’ that so many children went missing.
‘These children are under the guardianship of the state. The Government should be ashamed that it is failing them,’ she said.
The Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, told the newspaper that schools and care workers needed to be able to recognise the signs of a vulnerable child who might be about to go missing.
It also comes amid reports that thousands of children and teenagers are rescued from slavery around Britain every year, but few of their captors ever face justice.
Just six per cent of crimes reported to police under the Modern Slavery Act led to prosecutions since it was introduced in 2015, The Times reports.
More than 1,500 potential victims and 110 suspects have been identified by the National Crime Agency in the Rotherham investigation, and figures are expected to rise further.
Earlier this year Paul Williamson, the senior investigating officer on Operation Stovewood, said 100 more officers were needed because a shortage of specially trained detectives meant many possible victims had not yet been contacted.
Meanwhile it is thought that a sex gang raped as many as 1,000 young girls over 40 years in Telford in what may be Britain’s ‘worst ever’ child abuse scandal.
Telford’s Conservative MP, Lucy Allan, has previously called for a Rotherham-style inquiry into the allegations and called the latest reports ‘extremely serious and shocking’.