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Human Trafficking

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many victims of human trafficking (a) are estimated to be in the UK and (b) have been returned from the UK to their country of origin in each of the last five years. (161904)

Trafficking is predominantly a covert crime and it is not possible to provide accurate figures on the number of victims. Home Office research on organised crime markets suggests that at any one time in 2003 there were up to 4,000 women trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation.

Data on returns relating to victims of trafficking in the last five years is not held centrally. Many victims of trafficking want to return home and voluntary returns are always the preferred option for those who have no basis to remain in the UK. The Government works in partnership with the International Organization for Migration to run Assisted Voluntary Returns programmes that provide victims with resettlement support. Removal action is considered as a last resort.