Eurostar trains move students, tourists, and holiday makers through Europe with ease. But unfortunately, the train system may also be used to move child slaves, especially through St. Pancras station.
Children 12-17 can travel unaccompanied on Eurostar, as long as they have a note from a parent or guardian. Plus, the success of the Operation Paladin police unit at Heathrow is forcing traffickers to switch routes, some of them as switching to rail. But unlike the highly-trained team at Heathrow, there's no one at St. Pancras or other Eurostar stations. That means Eurostar is an attractive option for traffickers who want to move children from the U.K. to the European continent.
Eurostar has claimed this is an issue for the UK Border authority, ad they cannot refuse a minor the right to travel if they present the company with the appropriate travel documents. But activists sat the company should do more.
Eurostar should train key staff at all its stations to recognise and assist child trafficking victims and help the home office indentify and arrest human traffickers.