Minh was brought to the UK with promises of a better life, but like many trafficked young people he found himself working for little or no pay in a nail bar. Following a police raid, he was brought into the care of Love146. We have seen him grow in so many ways over the past few years. His journey is a reminder to us that survivors are strong and resilient. With the right support in place, they can thrive.
Minh’s experience isn’t singular. In the UK more than one-third of all trafficking victims are children. Car washes, cannabis factories and county lines are just a few places these children and young people may be exploited. It’s hard to believe that such a generous and progressive nation could abide such an outrage. But these young people are all around, hidden in plain sight.
For trafficked children, healing is a journey that is only just beginning with rescue from exploitation. Specialist support — support that understands the challenges trafficked children face and has the expertise to offer real solutions — is critical. The Love146 team builds trusting relationships with survivors in our own accommodation settings and with young people in foster placements. We take them to the dentist, teach them to ride the bus and make a budget, throw them birthday parties and walk through the long journey of recovery alongside them for as long as they want us in their life. In short, we are family — and family sticks around for the long haul.
This journey of recovery is an extraordinary struggle, but children are resilient. Despite terrible abuse, with the right support they can flourish again. Over and over the young people we work with show us that there is good reason to use that word: Hope. With your help, Love146 can continue to support young people like Minh as he creates a new future for himself.
A future that is full of hope.