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All-Party Parliamentary Groups begin inquiry into children who run away from care

Report is due to be published in Summer 2012

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults and the APPG for Looked after Children and Care Leavers has been taking oral evidence from witnesses as part of its inquiry into the care and support provided for the thousands of children who go missing from care every year.

The Children's Society says that its research reveals that a quarter of the 100,000 children who run away from care or home each year have been the victims of significant harm or abuse.

The opening session, led by Ann Coffey MP, focusds on trafficked children who are disappearing from local authority care.

Chair of the APPG for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, Ann Coffey MP, said:

'Child victims of trafficking and exploitation often do not receive the level of care and protection they need to ensure their safety and well-being. This is a critical factor which traffickers exploit.

'This inquiry will provide the evidence needed to improve the safety and welfare of extremely vulnerable children affected by this terrible crime and aims to find concrete solutions for how we can prevent this from happening in the future. It is vital we unite in providing the support these children need and deserve.'

The inquiry comprises four oral evidence sessions; the first day focused on child trafficking; following sessions will examine issues around runaways. It will hear evidence from ministers, local authorities, service providers and specialist organisations and the police. A report is set to be published in the summer.

The inquiry is supported by The Children's Society and The Who Cares? Trust.