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Human Trafficking

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what range of sentences were given in cases involving human trafficking in each of the last five years. (78809)

[holding answer 20 June 2006]: We have introduced comprehensive legislation to criminalise trafficking in human beings. The Sexual Offences Act 2003, which came into force in May 2004, introduces new, wide-ranging offences covering trafficking into, within, and out of the UK for any form of sexual exploitation. A new offence of “trafficking people for exploitation” covering forced labour, removal of organs and the trafficking of vulnerable people, including children, is included in the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act 2004 and came into force in December 2004. Prior to 2003, the Immigration Act 1971 was adopted for trafficking offences. There was one conviction in 2003 under that piece of legislation. In that case the defendant received a sentence of 10 years. This sentence was increased on appeal in 2004 to 23 years by the court of appeal on application by the Attorney-General as it was deemed unduly lenient.

In 2004 sentences for trafficking offences ranged from six to 18 years. In 2005 sentences for trafficking offences ranged from four to 21 years. In 2006 sentences for trafficking offences have so far ranged from four to seven years.

To date no convictions have been achieved for trafficking for labour exploitation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what prosecutions have been successfully concluded for people trafficking; and what the nationality was of those convicted of this offence in cases where proceedings are complete. (77907)

To date there have been 29 convictions for trafficking for sexual exploitation under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in 15 different cases. Prior to 2003, the Immigration Act 1971 was adopted for trafficking offences. There was one conviction in 2003 under that piece of legislation. The nationalities of the people convicted of trafficking offences are Albanian, Kosovan, Macedonian, Lithuanian, Turkish, Chinese, Moldovan and Thai.

To date there have been no convictions for trafficking for labour exploitation under the Asylum and Immigration (treatment of claimants etc) Act 2004.