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People Trafficking

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 8 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to link the Coordinated Strategy for Prostitution with the response to the Tackling Trafficking Consultation. (74839)

We are currently in the process of assessing the responses to the consultation paper on proposals for tackling human trafficking.

It is our intention to publish the UK strategy later this year. This will link in with the wider coordinated strategy for prostitution, particularly in relation to tackling demand for prostitution and raising awareness of the trafficking of women and children for the purposes of prostitution.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in the prevention of human trafficking into the United Kingdom. (74857)

The Government are committed to tackling human trafficking and on the 5 January 2006 launched a national consultation exercise on proposals for a UK action plan on human trafficking. The question of how to prevent human trafficking features prominently in the consultation and a summary of the consultation responses is due to be published on the 21 June 2006 with a final UK action plan to follow later in the year.

The Government have introduced comprehensive legislation to criminalise trafficking and in 2000 established Reflex, a multi-agency taskforce on organised immigration crime which has worked closely with international law enforcement partners in taking forward trafficking investigations and in strengthening the capacity of other countries to deal effectively with trafficking at source. In addition, on 3 April 2006 the Serious Organised Crime Agency was launched with organised immigration crime as one of its key priorities, bringing a renewed focus on improving intelligence on organised criminals engaged in this type of crime. During the course of our presidency of the Council of the European Union the Home Office developed an EU action plan on human trafficking which was adopted at the JHA Ministerial Council on 1-2 December 2005. This plan takes an end-to-end approach to the issue and includes specific measures to prevent trafficking into and within the EU.