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Human Trafficking

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will expand specialised training to include screening and referral of potential trafficking victims for all front-line responders within the law enforcement, immigration, medical, educational and social services; and if he will make a statement. (80350)

We are currently in the process of considering the responses to the consultation paper with the aim of producing a final UK action plan later in the year which will provide an end-to-end approach of tackling the problem of trafficking in human beings.

One of the areas being looked into is how to ensure an effective multi agency strategy including a review of the training requirements of all involved staff.

This will build on the work undertaken so far within the Immigration Nationality Directorate (IND) which is in the process of providing specialised training to 600 immigration officers at ports; the production of an online toolkit for all immigration officers; the establishment of the Airline Liaison Officer Network; the establishment of social work teams at five ports and asylum screening units principally to identify the particular needs of unaccompanied asylum seeking children and to safeguard their welfare.

Additionally, IND recently ran a seminar on tackling human trafficking for senior and specialist IND staff, plus representatives from the National Crime Squad, the Metropolitan police and other key stakeholders which identified the challenges we face in this area and recommendations for taking forward work to deal with these challenges.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many human trafficking incidents have been (a) reported and (b) successfully prosecuted in each London borough in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (82981)

Statistics for trafficking are not broken down for each of the London boroughs but are provided for London as a whole.

There are currently two pieces of legislation which criminalise trafficking. The Sexual Offences Act 2003, which came into force in May 2004 and the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act 2004 which came into force on 1 December 2004.

Prior to the introduction of this legislation there was only one conviction for a trafficking offence under the Immigration Act 1971 and this was in London.

Following the commencement of the dedicated trafficking offences in 2004, the convictions in London are as follows:

Number

2004

1

2005

9

2006 (to date)

1

1 No convictions.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2006, Official Report, column 877W, on human trafficking, how many people were convicted for offences related to human trafficking in each of the last five years, broken down by category of offence. (84928)

[holding answer 13 July 2006]: Dedicated trafficking offences came into force in 2004 under the Sexual Offences Act and then the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act 2004. Prosecutions were made under offences in the Immigration Act 1971. There was one conviction in 2003 under that piece of legislation.

In 2004 three people were convicted of related trafficking offences; these offences included:

Trafficking into and within the UK

Controlling a child prostitute

Living off immoral earnings

Possession of a false instrument

Causing to become a prostitute

Rape

False imprisonment

In 2005 32 people were convicted of related trafficking offences; these offences included:

Trafficking into and within the UK

Conspiracy to traffic in prostitution

Exercising control over prostitution

Living on prostitution

Rape

Conspiracy to kidnap

Money laundering

False imprisonment

Causing or inciting prostitution for gain

Keeping a brothel

Theft of passport

Conspiracy to facilitate unlawful immigration

Conspiracy to forge

2006 12 people were convicted of related trafficking offences these offences included:

Inciting prostitution

Trafficking into and within the UK

Controlling prostitution

Trafficking within the UK

Manslaughter

Perverting the course of justice

Facilitation managing a brothel

Forged and counterfeit documents

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up a national police taskforce to tackle trafficking of (a) women for the sex trade and (b) children used for (i) begging, (ii) child labour and (iii) as prostitutes. (80659)

[holding answer 27 June 2006]: We fully recognise the need for a coherent nationwide strategy to combat the trafficking of human beings.

To this end we launched the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) on 21 June. The establishment of UKHTC came as a result of the success of Operation Pentameter, a national police led multi-agency operation which aimed to tackle trafficking for sexual exploitation and which led to 234 people being arrested. Of these, 132 people have been charged, to date, with offences connected to trafficking.

Following on from the success of Operation Pentameter the UKHTC will support the overarching aim of moving the United Kingdom to a leading position in relation to the prevention and investigation of trafficking in human beings. It will also become a central point for the development of police expertise and operational co-ordination.