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Human Trafficking: Females

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent steps she has taken to reduce levels of trafficking of women for sexual exploitation. (255431)

We continue to make good progress towards the 85 action points contained in our Action Plan to combat trafficking and we shall publish the annual update to this plan later in the year.

On 17 December 2008, the UK ratified Council of Europe convention on trafficking in human beings. This represents a major milestone in the fight against human trafficking.

We have introduced proposed legislative changes under the Policing and Crime Bill to make it an offence to purchase sex from a woman controlled for gain or who has been trafficked, as part of our strategy to reduce demand for trafficked women.

In addition to this, the Serious Organised Crime Agency has programmes of activity to combat organised immigration crime including human trafficking focusing on source and transit countries and trafficking into and within the UK.