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Scotland: Government decision to sign trafficking convention is good news for victims in Scotland

Reacting to the Prime Minister's announcement that the UK Government is to sign up to the European Convention Against Trafficking, Amnesty International's Scotland Programme Director John Watson said:

"Amnesty International welcomes the decision of the Government to sign up to the European Convention Against Trafficking.

"Human trafficking is a nasty and well organised crime which, is causing untold human misery right here in Scotland. We are aware of dozens of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, possibly hundreds, trafficked here for the sex trade.

"The Government signing up to the European Convention will help ensure that such victims of this trade in people receive protection when they escape or are rescued here. It should end the problems victims have faced in the past, when they were not recognised as victims of crime and faced possible detention and deportation.

"Trafficking victims who receive protection may also be much better able to help the police with further enquiries and prosecutions. We have already seen one trafficking case collapse here in Scotland, hopefully this will be a turning point for justice.

"We now call on the Scottish Executive to continue with the good work that they have been doing on trafficking but also take the initiative and start planning now for the implementation of the Convention. The great examples of work such as the project in Glasgow, needs to be made permanent and rolled out across Scotland."


There are no official figures for trafficking in Scotland, but there have been raids on brothels as part of Operation Pentameter and a number of trafficked Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights have already been found.

Home Office research due to be published this year suggests that at any one time during 2003 there were in the region of 4,000 victims of trafficking for forced prostitution in the UK (1). Trafficked Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls, from countries including Moldova, Romania, Albania, Thailand and Nigeria have been forced to work as prostitutes in the UK. Victims of trafficking are tricked or violently coerced into leaving their homes.

The European Convention Against Trafficking guarantees trafficked people:

* a breathing period (‘reflection period’) of at least 30 days during which they can receive support to aid their recovery, including safe housing and emergency medical support;
* temporary residence permits for trafficked people who may be in danger if they return to their country, and/or if it is necessary to assist criminal proceedings.


Scotland has been leading the way in many respects on trafficking. The Glasgow City Council Inter-Agency Trafficking Group has help house and support a number of trafficked Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights already. This pilot project has been funded by the Scottish Executive and Glasgow City Council.

Amnesty International Scotland launched a briefing paper last year on the access to healthcare for trafficked Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Scotland. This paper made recommendations which were agreed to by a number of MSPs. Find out more

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