Independent Child Trafficking Guardians

Page 1 of 6

Closes 17 Nov 2019

Part 1: The Appointment and Functions of Independent Child Trafficking Guardians

Part one of this consultation seeks views on the provisions as set out in Section 11(7) of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 (the Act). 

In terms of section 11(7) of the Act, Scottish Ministers have the power, by regulations, to make further provision about Independent Child Trafficking Guardians (ICTG's) including in relation to their appointment and their functions. The questions in this consultation seeks your views on these.

Section 11(7) of the Act states:
“The Scottish Ministers may by regulations make further provision about independent child trafficking guardians appointed under this section, including, in particular, provision about:

a. the appointment of an independent child trafficking guardian,
b. the termination of that appointment,
c. the conditions (including conditions as to training, qualifications and experience) to be satisfied for a person to be eligible for appointment as an independent child trafficking guardian,
d. payments to be made to, or in respect of, an independent child trafficking guardian,
e. the functions of an independent child trafficking guardian,
f. the records that should be maintained by any person in relation to the appointment of an independent child trafficking guardian (including arrangements to maintain a register of independent child trafficking guardians),
g. the circumstances in which—

  • i. an independent child trafficking guardian appointed in relation to a person may continue to act after that person is no longer a child, and
  • ii. the person who is no longer a child is to be treated as a child for the purposes of this section.
1. The appointment of an independent child trafficking guardian

We propose appointing an organisation who will be responsible for providing independent child trafficking guardians. That organisation will be appointed through an open and fair procurement/bid process and they will be responsible for employing independent child trafficking guardians and appointing them to individual cases.

Do you agree with the proposal set out above?

2. The termination of that appointment

We propose that the appointment of an independent child trafficking guardian should be terminated using the normal procedures of the service provider.

Do you agree with the proposal set out above?

3. The conditions (including training, qualifications and experience) to be satisfied by a person to be eligible for that appointment

a) It is suggested, given the intended role of the ICTG, those employed will as a minimum
require the following qualifications:

  • OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) Level 2
  • Relevant related qualification in working with children, Professional Qualification to SCQF Level 8 (HND Level)

Do you agree with the above qualifications?

b) In addition, it is suggested that given the intended role of the ICTG, those employed will have - or be required to develop - the following experience:

  • Understanding of child protection and looked after children guidance and procedures
  • Awareness of impact of trauma on children/young people and its effects
  • Skills in communicating with children, working with and through interpreters
  • Knowledge of UK and Scottish legislation to include immigration, asylum, human rights
    and data protection legislation, as well as specific legislation concerning children and
    young people and the statutory responsibilities and duties of the agencies involved in
    supporting them
  • Knowledge of key policies and procedures relating to key legislation above
  • Awareness of age assessment guidance and procedures
  • An understanding of the distinct and cultural needs of separated children
  • An understanding of data protection and information sharing legislation and guidance
  • Experience of working with young people/children at risk
  • Knowledge of child abuse and exploitation, indicators of trafficking and the National Referral Mechanism or other relevant trafficking identification systems

It is recognised that it is unlikely that many people will have all of the above experience prior to employment, therefore it is expected that the service provider will provide sufficient training to employees to develop the above experience and expertise.

Do you agree with the above requirements for experience?

c) To ensure that an ICTG is suitable and accountable they must:

  • Undergo a full Disclosure up to and including PVG Scheme membership; and
  • Register with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

Do you agree with the above requirements?

4. The payments to be made to, or in respect to the role of, an independent child trafficking guardian

We propose that the service provider, whoever that may be, should set the salary and the policy for any other payments to be made to the ICTG.

Do you agree with the above proposal?

5. The functions of an independent child trafficking guardian

It is proposed that the ICTG should have regard to the following functions:

  • Contribute to the safeguarding of the child or young person and specifically contribute to the prevention of (re)trafficking.
  • Promote the best interests of the child or young person
  • Where the immigration status of a child or young person is not established, advise them as they progress through the immigration process, including on pathway planning for both positive and negative decisions on their status.
  • Have regard to the duties of the public bodies who have statutory duties relating to these children and young people, specifically but not limited to local authorities, the Home Office and Police Scotland.
  • Act in accordance with and assist local authorities as part of their plan for the support of the child or young person by:
    • Supporting them in dealing with the consequences of having been trafficked.
    • Supporting them through any appropriate referral mechanism for identification of trafficking, such as the National Referral Mechanism where they have been entered into by a First Responder.
    • Supporting them through any criminal proceedings against their traffickers, including understanding the process and managing expectations around prosecution.
    • Supporting them to access Criminal Injuries Compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) if required.
    • Supporting them towards independence to achieve the best outcomes and destinations for these young people.
    • Supporting them in being active in the development of their support and pathway planning.
  • Provide a confidential service according to data protection guidance and information sharing protocols.
  • When necessary, contribute to an age assessment in line with the Age Assessment Practice Guidance for Scotland.

Do you agree with the above functions?

6. Record Keeping

The Act makes provisions for Scottish Ministers to make regulations about the records that should be maintained relating to the ICTG (further consideration of data sharing arrangements will be required as part of the data protection impact assessment at a later stage).

What records should be kept about the ICTG (for example, records on employment; relevant training)? (Data protection principles as set out in the relevant data protection laws must be adhered to by the ICTG Service, individuals appointed and service users at all times as with any other public service)

7. Vulnerable young people over 18

The legislation allows Scottish Ministers to make provision for what circumstances the ICTGs may continue to act for a person after they are no longer a child.

One such example is due to the complexities and the timescales involved in the trafficking and asylum processes, it is possible that a child will reach the age of 18 before they have a decision about their case or may still be vulnerable to exploitation or re-trafficking and require on-going support and advice from the ICTG.

It is therefore suggested that a young person could continue to receive support from an ICTG after the age of 18 where they have been a looked after child by a local authority, potentially in line with existing Continuing Care and Aftercare provisions (which the young person will be eligible for). This is for the purpose of preventing (re)trafficking of vulnerable young people.

Do you agree with the above?