Response to Home Affairs Committee report on human trafficking

14 May 2009

In response to today’s (Thursday 14 May) Home Affairs Committee report on human trafficking, Klara Skrivankova, Trafficking Programme Co-ordinator for Anti-Slavery International, which submitted evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry, said:

“The Home Affairs Committee is right to recognise that human trafficking is the equivalent of the modern day slave trade.

“As such it is imperative that trafficked people are recognised immediately as the victims of serious crime. For too long trafficking has been dismissed as an immigration issue and accompanied by a culture of disbelief amongst the authorities.

“Police and judges need to be better trained so that they can recognise trafficked women in sexual exploitation, people trafficked to work without pay on farms and factories, and those involved in criminal enterprise against their will, including children forced into cannabis cultivation or pick-pocketing.

“The best way to prevent the UK from being an attractive destination for traffickers is to introduce robust protection measures, ensure proper compensation for victims and vigorously pursue the prosecution of the criminal gangs behind the trade in human beings.

“Criminals are making millions from the misery of vulnerable people. Their assets should be confiscated and used to fund compensation for trafficked people to help them rebuild their lives.

“Though no amount of money can make up for the nightmare of slavery, compensation plays an important role in helping trafficked people recover from the physical, emotional and financial losses of their ordeal as well as providing a sense of justice.”

For further press information contact or to arrange an interview with Klara Skrivankova: Paul Donohoe, Anti-Slavery International Press Officer, on 44 (0)20 7501 8934/07779 624 385 p.donohoe@antislavery.org

NOTES TO EDITORS:

 

  • Definition of traffickingTrafficking involves transporting people away from the communities in which they live, through the use of violence, deception or coercion, for the purpose of exploitation. Trafficking is different to people smuggling, which is the illegal movement of people across a border for a fee but does not result in labour or sexual exploitation.
  • Anti-Slavery International is the world’s oldest human rights organisation and campaigns for the eradication of slavery, exposing current cases, supporting local organisations to release the minimum 12.3 million people in slavery, and the implementation of international laws against slavery.