Leading children’s charity ECPAT UK has launched this animated film aimed at tackling the growing issue of Vietnamese children being trafficked to the UK for cannabis cultivation (Anti-Slavery Day, 18th October 2017).
The Secret Gardeners, created by Ruth Beni of Animage Films and Oscar-nominated animator Erica Russell, aims to inform professionals about the plight of children who are forced by organised crime gangs to grow drugs in houses across the UK but who often face criminalisation and prison.
It is hoped that the film, which is based on real-life experiences of children ECPAT UK has supported, will also educate members of the public who use cannabis about the ‘dirty’ supply chains of marijuana that may include child exploitation.
In 2016, there were 227 Vietnamese children identified as potential victims of modern slavery in the UK. From In the first six months of this year alone there have been 169 referrals of VN children into the NRM, making it the top country for children being trafficked into the UK.
The Secret Gardeners will also be launched in Vietnam in partnership with the Pacific Links Foundation as part of an innovative education programme in schools to help prevent young people being trafficked.