Sex Trafficking: Better support needed for victims of sex trafficking in new crackdown

We welcome this crackdown but victims have to be better protected, says Amnesty

In response to the launch today (3 October 2007) of Operation Pentameter 2, the new government initiative to crack down on sex trafficking, Amnesty International’s Gender Policy Adviser, Kerry Smith said:

“Amnesty welcomes the Government’s renewed commitment to clamp down on trafficking as this sends a clear message that this vicious trade in Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights will not be tolerated.

“However it has to ensure that the victims who are discovered are given the appropriate care and support to help them recover from their dreadful ordeal. Unfortunately the original Operation Pentameter didn’t go far enough to achieve this.”

Amnesty International is concerned that there remains a severe lack of funding to provide adequate care for victims of trafficking.

For example, there are currently only 35 beds available for victims through the government-funded London-based support and accommodation service, the Poppy Project. Although an extra 10 outsourced spaces have been funded during the course of Pentameter 2 this is insufficient.

Kerry Smith continued:
“Today as Operation Pentameter 2 is launched, the Poppy Project is bulging at the seams and has only got the capacity to take on eight more Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

“In order for the Government to effectively carry out a clampdown on trafficking that would provide safety and protection for these Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, more money has to be provided to ensure victims of trafficking are supported by organisations who are experienced in providing appropriate levels of care to Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights who have endured physical and psychological violence.”

Earlier this year the UK Government signed the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, which provides a series of minimum standards on the protection and support of people who have been trafficked into the country.

However, it has yet to ratify this treaty and even though the Government has made progress on these issues, appropriate measures regarding, for example, identification and referral mechanisms and the provision of support and accommodation, are currently not in place.

Kerry Smith said:
“The best commitment the Government can make to these vulnerable Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights is to ratify the European Convention Against Trafficking and implement it to its highest standards.”

  • find out more about Trafficking in the UK
  • find out more about the Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights campaign /li>

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