The Scottish Churches Anti-Human Trafficking Group welcomes and applauds the Anti Trafficking Monitoring Group’s report, ‘All Change: Preventing Trafficking in the UK’ which was launched in Scotland on 4th May. The report offers an analysis of the progress made by the UK in complying with its obligations under the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking of Human Beings which came into force in the UK in 2009.
The report acknowledges that ‘devolved administrations have a chief role in tackling trafficking within their territory, namely in terms of service provision to victims and enforcing the law.’’ (Executive Summary p.14)
Among the recommendations the report makes is the appointment of an independent regional Anti-Trafficking Commissioner (or a Rapporteur) to maintain oversight of Scotland’s anti-trafficking response. The Commissioner would have the duty to ensure that all responsibilities under the Convention are being met, to ensure a comprehensive anti-trafficking response, and to ensure that all anti-trafficking measures promote gender equality and the human rights of all trafficked persons and those vulnerable to trafficking.
However even if fully implemented, the Group believes that the recommendations will not be truly effective without measures to address the demand for sexual services as this is a key component in the attempt to reduce trafficking for sexual exploitation. To this end, the Scottish Churches Anti-Trafficking Group welcomes and supports the introduction of legislation to the Scottish Parliament to criminalise the purchase of sex.
During 2012 a strategy for action against human trafficking will be presented at the decision- making bodies of many of Scotland’s churches. The Scottish Churches Anti-Human Trafficking Group sees this as the opportunity to raise the issue of trafficking and provide a platform upon which to build in the coming years. A copy of the report and strategy for action can be downloaded at
A copy of the letter to MSPs is available to download.
The Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group report is available at http://www.antislavery.org/english/what_we_do/programme_and_advocacy_work/anti_trafficking_monitoring_group.aspx