Justice and Safety
Human Trafficking and Exploitation – First Annual Progress Report
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson has updated Parliament on progress in tackling human trafficking and exploitation in the past 12 months.
Read Mr Matheson’s full statement on the main Scottish Government website.
‘Trafficking and Exploitation: Strategy – First Annual Progress Report’ is available online.
Key figures look back on the progress that has been made in the past year:
Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald, Police Scotland, said:
“In the past year, Police Scotland has continued to support the Scottish Government Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy and has led the action area for law enforcement, working alongside key partners including National Crime Agency, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Border Force, other support agencies and third sector groups. As well as leading this group, Police Scotland is represented on all areas of the government strategy.
“Our National Human Trafficking Unit has coordinated multi-agency days of action in conjunction with UK wide intensification periods led by the National Crime Agency, which has focused on specific types of exploitation, both with enforcement and awareness raising.
“The National Human Trafficking Unit has recently developed an online training package for public sector workers, who are often best placed to identify people who may be trafficked within their communities. As well as advising on the signs of trafficking, it advises on what do if they believe someone is trafficked.
“Only by working together with partners and across communities will we tackle human trafficking and end this unacceptable exploitation of people.”
Bronagh Andrew of Community Safety Glasgow also commented:
“The thread of multi-agency approaches and working together to end Human Trafficking and Exploitation which is woven throughout the Scottish Government’s Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy has led to some early successes in improving the identification and support to survivors of trafficking and disrupting criminal activity. The close links with Police Scotland and the TARA Service have been further strengthened to include our collective strategic responses. This includes support with the development of the Human Trafficking DVD package, by using the learning from both organisations to ensure our experiences are shared leading to improved responses from frontline staff.
“We also participated in a joint visit to Romania to learn from their law enforcement and support services to learn more about supports available on return for women TARA have worked with, strengthen international referrals and improve our ability to keep women safe and disrupt perpetrators. Strong partnership approaches, locally, nationally and internationally are an essential aspect of our shared responsibility to achieve the aims of Scotland’s strategy to tackle Human Trafficking and Exploitation.”
COSLA Spokesperson for Community Well-Being, Cllr Elena Whitham said:
“I welcome the publication of the first annual progress report on the implementation of the Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy. The collaborative partnership approach that has been taken is enabling local authorities to take forward actions where they can contribute to the identification of and support for victims of trafficking, and disrupt preparators in our communities.
“COSLA and local authorities are committed to contributing to the Strategy and working to eradicate these abhorrent abuses of human rights. COSLA will continue to Chair the working group for Action Area One (Identifying and Supporting victims) and I am looking forward to taking a paper on this report, and the awareness raising and training materials which have been developed, to COSLA Community Well-Being Board next week.”