Barnardo's exposed yestrday the "alarming" rise in the number of sexually exploited children in Britain who have been victims of trafficking.
Of 546 sexually exploited children who Barnardo's worked with in September, the number known to be trafficked rose by 84 per cent - from 76 to 140 year on year, the charity said.
This equates to one in four across Britain and Northern Ireland, up from one in six in 2011, and rising to one in two in Wales.
The number of sexually exploited children known to Barnardo's rose by 22 per cent last year - to 1,452 - and increased by 37 per cent during the past three years.
Data collated from Barnardo's services also revealed that numbers of sexually exploited children helped by the charity rose by 377 per cent in Wales, from 22 to 83, as it has become more active there.
In the north-east, south-east and Northern Ireland Barnardo's services recorded an increase in the number of younger children requiring its help, with children as young as seven meeting strangers on the internet.
The findings are the result of a survey of 23 of the charity's specialist services across Britain and Northern Ireland.
The charity called on the government to improve protections to prevent victims and other children from being trafficked for sex. It has urged the Department for Education and the Home Office to do more to deliver on their commitment to tackling child sexual exploitation in England.
Barnardo's chief executive Anne Marie Carrie said: "We are shocked at the rise in the number of children reporting they have been moved around the country by abusers.
"Domestic trafficking of children for sex is a sophisticated type of exploitation, a sinister form of organised violation through networks of criminals.
"Nobody currently knows the full extent of these crimes because of their hidden nature, but what we do know is that every time we open a new service for victims it quickly becomes fully subscribed.
"If we are to save children from suffering for years at the hands of their abusers, more must be done by the authorities to identify victims of child sexual exploitation who are being internally trafficked and to stop this activity earlier on."
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