Dozens of children from Vietnam are being smuggled from a French refugee camp to the UK to work as slaves at cannabis farms, media reports cited charity workers as saying.
The UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has issued warnings that a group of children including Vietnamese are being kept out of sight of the authorities at the Calaise Jungle before being moved to work in the farms, the Daily Mail reported.
NSPCC said it has inspected the camp and is concerned that criminal gangs are using the settlement as a stop-over for smuggling children to the UK.
The charity said the children would become victims of physical and sexual abuse during the journey, and once in the UK, of labor exploitation, forced marriage and criminal activities as well.
There are hundreds of unaccompanied children as young as nine living in the camp and Vietnamese children are particularly prevalent, it found.
Vietnamese gangs are reportedly rising the UK’s cannabis market, with domination rising from around 15 percent in 2005 to 90 percent last year.
The NSPCC is currently investigating the cases of 72 children who have gone missing from the camp.