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Human Trafficking

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are in place to encourage victims of human trafficking to collaborate with Home Office immigration and the appropriate law enforcement agencies; and if he will make a statement. [99444]

The White Paper "Secure Borders, Safe Haven: integration with diversity within modern Britain"—published in February 2002—sets out our general proposals for assisting the victims of trafficking.

We are developing a pilot scheme under which victims of trafficking who are willing to come forward to the authorities and help law enforcement against organised criminals will be offered protection and a range of support services such as counselling and health checks in safe accommodation

We will also consider, in the light of individual circumstances, whether it would be appropriate to allow such victims who have co-operated to remain here. Where they are to return home, we will assist them to do so, providing them with initial counselling, ensuring that they have suitable accommodation to return to, and providing help to enable them to re-integrate into their own community and find employment.

We are in discussion with the voluntary sector about the provision of these services.

We plan to make an announcement about the start of the pilot shortly.