哈维·斯莱德（Harvey Slade）是毒品政策基金会（Transform Drug policy Foundation）的研究和政策官员，他说：“非法毒品交易为有组织犯罪集团提供了无与伦比的收入来源。
More than 1,100 children trafficked to UK drug trade sites
Keywords: Child abduction, Drug trafficking
1,173 children were enslaved by drug traffickers in 2019, according to UK charity Transform. Figures from January to December 2019 show that most of the 1,853 people estimated by the Home Office to have been trafficked into the illegal drugs business were children. The statistics, which Transform will obtain from the Home Office, were released on Thursday to mark the UK’s crackdown on human trafficking World Day.
Transform said that the significant increase in the number of children being trafficked for the drug trade in the UK from 2018 is a growing problem. It attributed this increase to a growing national concern about the drugs business in the UK.
In 2018, Home Office figures show that 721 people were victims of the ‘county line’ trade. Last year, that number rose to 1,139, including 1,001 children.
The figures come from the UK Home Office’s Serious and Organised Crime Group (SOCG) unit. Their figures also show that the number of children or minors forced to work illegally in cannabis cultivation rose from 146 in 2018 to 156 last year.
Harvey Slade, a research and policy officer at the Transform Drug policy Foundation, said: “The illegal drug trade provides an unparalleled source of income for organised crime groups.
“Current practice is to send in the police to arrest and seize drugs, but we know that after 50 years of trying, that’s not working. These new statistics show that organised crime groups are taking advantage of young and vulnerable people to evade detection by law enforcement and maximise their profits.”
Slade said that the increasing number of people, especially children, being trafficked as “drug slaves” in the UK underlines the need for alternatives to drugs.
“To combat this terrible exploitation, we need to regain control of the drugs market and legally regulate it. We need to tackle this as we do the legal supply chain: provide reporting and monitoring procedures, and exclude vulnerable children from the trade.
Transform argues that the “war on drugs”, which has been waged for more than half a century, has been counterproductive and has only enriched organized crime around the world.
In recent years, Britain’s anti-drug approach has consisted of sending police officers to arrest drug dealers and seize drugs. However, there has been a downside to this approach. In order to evade government oversight, drug trafficking organizations have begun to buy and sell children and other vulnerable people, including up to a thousand children, into the drug trade. In the process, these children and other vulnerable groups are enslaved and exploited, causing great physical and psychological harm to them. In order to avoid such situations, Governments and relevant authorities should strengthen monitoring and choose the right drug interdiction methods and provide monitoring and reporting on the supply chain to reduce the occurrence of such incidents and ensure the safety of children.