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European Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on the timetable for the UK’s ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Trafficking of Human Beings. (158533)

The Government are determined to ratify the Convention as soon as we can but are determined to get the arrangements right before doing so. We need to be compliant with the Convention before formal ratification. Some of the other signatories to the Convention have legal systems that allow or require ratification before implementation—ours does not. The UK is already largely compliant with the Convention but some amendments to primary/secondary legislation will be required, as will the development of guidance and the institution of new processes. A dedicated project team within the Border and Immigration Agency is leading delivery of the changes needed to comply with the Convention and is reporting regularly to a cross-government official project board and Ministerial Group. Action against trafficking is continuing and is not on hold pending ratification. During the ongoing, police-led anti-trafficking operation, Pentameter 2 we are piloting an identification process and a 30-day reflection period, as required by Article 10 and 13 of the Convention.