Tony Blair announces UK will sign anti-trafficking convention

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23 January 2007

In a welcome move, Prime Minister Tony Blair announced on 22 January the United Kingdom would sign the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings, bringing the guarantee of help and protection for all trafficked people in the UK a step closer.

Anti-Slavery International, our supporters and partners have been calling on the Government to sign the Convention since it opened for signature in May 2005.

It is vital that the Government follows signing by ratifying and implementing the Convention as a matter of urgency, as it is the only international law that provides guaranteed minimum standards of protection for trafficked people. This includes at least 30 days to stay in the country to receive emergency medical assistance, safe housing, legal advice and temporary residence permits for those who may be in danger if they return to their country of origin.

Current protection and support services for trafficked men, women and children are inadequate and there is no specific assistance available to those who are trafficked for labour exploitation.

To date, over 30 European countries have signed; three have ratified. Ten ratifications are required for the standard to enter into force.

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