Christina McKelvie, who has long battled against human trafficking, says she is delighted to see the new law come into force in Scotland.
The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 allows courts to hand down a life sentence for those convicted of human trafficking or slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
The Act creates a single offence of human trafficking and includes measures to ensure both adult and child victims of trafficking can access appropriate support and assistance.
Commenting, Christina McKelvie MSP said:
“Sadly, slavery is not yet a crime consigned to the history books. The trafficking of humans continues across the world, and we have a moral obligation to do all we can to stamp out this despicable crime.
“This Act strengthens protections for the most vulnerable children and allows the courts to hand down life sentences for those convicted of trafficking, slavery or forced labour.
“As well as the new criminal offence, the Scottish Government will now introduce a Scottish Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy to increase awareness and improve detection.
“This Scottish Parliament passed this legislation unanimously – making clear that Scotland stands united against human traffickers and the vile crimes which they perpetrate. We must all now work together to eradicate this practice once and for all.”