Scotland seeks to eliminate human trafficking through new strategy

The launch of the Scottish Government’s Human Trafficking Strategy will aim to eradicate human trafficking from Scotland.

The strategy, which is open for public consultation until December 7th, will work with key stakeholders and partners across the UK, to place victim support at the core of Scottish Government policy.

This strategy builds upon the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015, the first Scottish legislation to create a new offence for human trafficking, carrying a possible maximum life sentence for perpetrators.

Commenting on the launch of the strategy, Christina McKelvie MSP said:

“This new strategy shows the seriousness in which the Scottish Government approaches the crime of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is an abhorrent and vile crime. It’s a crime which is not only a fundamental breach of human rights, but it also disproportionally impacts upon women and children.

“Human trafficking exploits, controls and coerces its victims, sometimes long after the incidents have occurred.  

“I want to place on record my sincere thanks to all the organisations so far who have worked in partnership with the Scottish Government to launch this strategy.

“Whilst I appreciate the complexities involved with investigating human trafficking, the Scottish Government has not shirked the challenge.  We have tackled the issue head on.

“When complete, this strategy can act as a blueprint to eliminate human trafficking, not just in Scotland but throughout the UK and beyond.

Christina McKelvie also launched a Scottish Parliamentary motion, noting the Scottish Government's strategy: 

"That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Government’s consultation on a human trafficking and exploitation strategy for Scotland; notes that the online consultation runs from 12 October to 7 December 2016; considers that the draft strategy is a direct result of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015, which is the first Scottish legislation on the issue; further considers that this legislation is a clear sign of the Scottish Government’s serious intent to eradicate the illegal trade and exploitation of human beings; condemns the trafficking of people as an abhorrent, exploitative and degrading crime; praises the Scottish Government for its leading role in introducing this cross-collaborative, multi-agency draft strategy; further commends the various stakeholders and human trafficking advocacy groups that have played a role in bringing forward the strategy, and considers that, when complete, it will help to eliminate human trafficking and exploitation in Scotland and could also be used as a blueprint to eliminate exploitation throughout the UK and beyond, making Scotland a progressive leading body in the eradication of human trafficking."