CHILD trafficking victim awarded damages after being imprisoned.
The Vietnamese boy aged 15 at the time of his arrest by Cambridge police was detained in a youth offenders institution after being caught during a drugs raid on a cannabis farm.
For legal reasons the boy has only been identified as VCL. According to The Mirror the boy has been awarded damages as his imprisonment for the drugs offences was deemed to breach his human rights. He was arrested in 2009 and spent nearly 2 years at a young offenders institution after he was permitted to plead guilty to drug charges.
Although the young teen had been tragically smuggled into the country by his adoptive father and then taken by two strangers to the Cambridge cannabis farm where he was forced to work, police failed to take this into account.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled in favour of VCL on Tuesday, February 16, as when he was charged with the drugs-related crimes the fact that he had been a victim of human trafficking should have been considered. The judges ruled that his human rights had been violated.
The judges said, “The Court considered that the prosecution of potential victims of trafficking might be at odds with the State’s duty to take operational measures to protect them where there was a credible suspicion that an individual had been trafficked.
“Once the authorities had become aware of such a suspicion, the individual should be properly assessed by a properly qualified person.” They also ruled in favour of a second boy.
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