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UK: Amnesty welcomes JCHR report and urges UK government to stop failing trafficked people

Amnesty International today (13 October) welcomed the publication of the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ report into human trafficking. The organisation urged the UK government to follow the Committee’s recommendations and sign up a European Convention Against Trafficking and echoed the JCHR’s support for the treaty, which would ensure support and protection for the victims of trafficking.

Amnesty International UK Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights Campaign Manager Heather Harvey said:

“The JCHR report throws welcome light on all forms of human trafficking in the UK. We applaud the interest of eminent peers and MPs in addressing this issue.

“Victims of all forms of forced labour are the victims of appalling crimes and must receive support and protection from the authorities - not be treated as criminals and sent back to countries where they could face re-trafficking.

“The JCHR report echoes the view of Amnesty and other organisations that the UK must sign up to the European Convention Against Trafficking as a matter of urgency. Trafficking is a grave violation of human rights. The UK government must join the other 30 member states in Europe by setting binding minimum standards for the protection of victims.

“The JCHR has shown that objections to the European Convention based upon concerns that an 'immigration pull factor’ may result, have no factual basis. Italy has provided residence permits and other assistance to victims for years, yet has not experienced a 'pull factor'.

“The number of arrests of traffickers in Italy far exceeds those in the UK. This is not surprising to specialists who work with victims of trafficking. Making victims feel safe from harm and providing medical assistance and support can help them to disclose their experiences over time, and can enable them to give valuable information about their traffickers' activities.”

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