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Human Trafficking

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 9 June 2008, Official Report, column 75W, on human trafficking: females, what steps are being taken by the (a) Serious Organised Crime Agency and (b) United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre to improve collection of intelligence of human trafficking; and when she expects improved statistics on the extent of human trafficking in the United Kingdom to be published. (241516)

SOCA produces the National Intelligence Requirement (NIR) for Serious Organised Crime, which systematically identifies gaps in knowledge around all key threat areas, including human trafficking. Agencies report against the NIR throughout the year in order to inform the UK Threat Assessment (UKTA) of Serious Organised Crime, which is collated by SOCA on behalf of UK law enforcement and published annually. The resultant improvements in knowledge of human trafficking will be reflected in the UKTA.

This work is supported by the UKHTC through its collaboration with SOCA and through its role as the central repository of all data and intelligence on human trafficking. We already have an estimate of the number of women trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation. We hope to be able to revise this estimate by the end of 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many victims of human trafficking were identified during police operations in each of the last five years. (241542)

I have been asked to reply.

Data on the number of victims identified during police operations is not collected centrally. The police did collect data on the number of victims recovered during the co-ordinated enforcement campaigns Operation Pentameter 1 and 2 which is shown in the following table.


Victims recovered


Pentameter 1



Pentameter 2



1 Victims of sexual exploitation.

2 Victims of trafficking for domestic servitude/forced labour.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) arrests and (b) convictions there have been for human trafficking offences under Operation Pentameter 2. (243330)

Of the 528 arrests as a result of Operation Pentameter 299 were for human trafficking. Many of those arrested were charged with offences other than human trafficking, such as causing or inciting prostitution for gain and money laundering offences.

It is not possible to disaggregate the conviction figures to provide a breakdown of convictions resulting from Operation Pentameter 2 and many cases arising from that operation are still progressing through the criminal justice system.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her Department’s definition is of a person who has been trafficked. (244928)

The UK uses the definition of trafficking set out in the Protocol to the 2000 UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime called the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, which states that:

“Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.