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Human Trafficking

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government have taken to work with other governments to reduce levels of human trafficking. (182003)

We remain concerned about all forms of human trafficking globally and are committed to tackling it wherever possible. The issue is raised regularly at EU Councils and is discussed at both ministerial and official level between EU partners. The Government's ratification of Albania's EU Stabilisation and Association Agreement, which will help reduce human trafficking and smuggling in the Balkans region, is a good example of our commitment to working with other governments. In addition, UK law enforcement agencies work closely with foreign counterparts in many source and transit countries, helping them to build enforcement capacity and to facilitate information exchanges; an initiative is currently taking place in a number of EU countries, led by the UK and Poland, under the auspices of the G6. The Government also part-funded the secondment of two Romanian police officers into a Metropolitan Police joint unit to exchange experience, skills and knowledge in the fight against the criminal exploitation and trafficking of Romanian children to the UK.

The Government raise human trafficking issues more widely at bilateral and international meetings beyond the EU. At the recent UN-Office on Drugs and Crime's Global Initiative on Fighting Trafficking forum held in Vienna, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Coaker) represented the Government, along with participants from the UK Human Trafficking Centre and HM Revenue and Customs.