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Human Trafficking

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding he has allocated for training of social workers and police in matters related to human trafficking for each of the next three years. (289350)

There have been no funding decisions taken in respect of training on issues of human trafficking for the next three years. Training modules on human trafficking are being rolled out to become part of mainstream mandatory training for police officers. This work is on course to be completed by the end of 2009.

Training of social workers falls appropriately to local authorities, which shape the services provided to meet the needs of the local population including keeping children safe from harm.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his most recent estimate is of the number of women and children trafficked into the UK for (a) sexual exploitation, (b) labour exploitation, (c) domestic servitude and (d) other purposes in each of the last five years. (291030)

[holding answer 14 September 2009]: Our latest estimate of the scale of human trafficking is that at any one time in 2003, there were up to 4,000 women in the UK who were potentially victims of human trafficking. In April 2009 the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre estimated that there are approximately 325 children trafficked into the UK each year.

We are currently undertaking work to produce a new estimate of trafficking for sexual exploitation. We aim to publish this by the end of the year.

There are currently no estimates on the numbers of labour trafficking victims (including victims of domestic servitude).

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department takes to (a) monitor and (b) evaluate the (i) work and (ii) performance of the competent authority under the national referral mechanism for victims of trafficking. (291031)

[holding answer 14 September 2009]: All efforts to tackle trafficking are monitored and scrutinised by the quarterly Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Trafficking chaired by myself.

Further scrutiny of trafficking issues is provided by a non-governmental organisation stakeholder group, which I chair alongside the Solicitor-General. The UK action plan on trafficking also provides specific commitments to review particular aspects of the Convention implementation, for example the 45-day recovery/reflection period.

A UK Border Force-led task force was set up to monitor the implementation of the national referral mechanism (NRM) and to ensure that all parts of it, including the competent authorities, are working effectively. The task force contains representatives from Government Departments, local authorities, the UK Human Trafficking Centre and the non-governmental organisation victim support providers Eaves Housing, TARA (Scotland), and Migrant Helpline (Northern Ireland). It is currently meeting on a monthly basis and will host a number of expert workshops on 2 October to review NRM performance over its first six months.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people trafficked into the UK have been flown back to their country of origin (a) in and (b) outside the EU in the last 12 months; and what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of such journeys. (291080)

[holding answer 14 September 2009]: Between 1 April 2009 and 31 August 2009 a total of 275 referrals into the National Referral Mechanism were recorded by the UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC). These referrals were made by the UK Border Agency, police services, local authorities and non-governmental agencies. This includes foreign nationals from both within and outside the European Economic Area and British citizens.

Many of these cases are still under consideration, but UK Border Agency records show that none of those subject to immigration control have been removed or departed voluntarily from the UK. There has therefore been no cost for such journeys to date.

Information on historic cases considered before the new National Referral Mechanism could not be obtained without the detailed examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

Statistical information on the National Referral Mechanism is published quarterly on the UKHTC website:

http://www.ukhtc.org/#statistical

Statistical information for the period 1 July—30 September will be published on the UKHTC website at the end of September 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what proportion of cases referred to the National Referral Mechanism for Victims of Trafficking were individuals found to have had (a) reasonable and (b) conclusive grounds for having been trafficked. (291328)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: Between 1 April 2009 and 31 August 2009 a total of 275 referrals into the National Referral Mechanism were recorded by the UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC). A total of 196 reasonable grounds decisions were made by competent authorities based in the UKHTC and UK Border Agency during this period. 151 or just over three quarters of these individuals were found to have reasonable grounds to believe that they were trafficked.

During the same period a total of 57 conclusive grounds decisions were made by competent authorities. 43 or roughly three quarters of these individuals were found to have conclusive grounds to believe that they were trafficked.

Statistical information on the National Referral Mechanism is published quarterly on the UK Human Trafficking Centre’s website

http://www.ukhtc.org/#statistical.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to extend the role and duties of the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre in anticipation of an increase in levels of human trafficking in the period immediately prior to the London 2012 Olympics. (291330)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: While there is currently no evidence to suggest that there is an increase in trafficking activity in the run-up to the Olympic games, we are keeping the intelligence under review and planning to deal with any potential increase.

The UKHTC is already engaging with the Olympic Project Group and contributing to the assessment of the threat posed by human trafficking to the 2012 Olympics. In addition the centre is liaising with police, other agencies, and non- governmental organisations to ensure that intelligence on this issue is regularly reviewed and assessed.

This will form part of our plans to deal with any potential increase and have proactive measures in place.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many referrals under the National Referral Mechanism for Victims of Trafficking there have been since 1 April 2009; from which countries those referred originated; and which agencies have made such referrals. (291331)

[holding answer 16 April 2009]: Between 1 April 2009 and 31 August 2009 a total of 275 referrals into the National Referral Mechanism were recorded by the UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC). These referrals were made by the UK Border Agency, police services, local authorities and non-governmental agencies.

The individuals referred originated from 52 different countries, with the highest numbers coming from China (42), Nigeria (42) and Vietnam (30).

Statistical information on the national referral mechanism is published quarterly on the UKHTC website:

http://www.ukhtc.org/#statistical.

Statistical information for the period 1 July to 30 September will be published on the UKHTC website at the end of September 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the report on the outcomes of Pentameter 2 to be available. (291746)

The outcomes of the operational phase of Pentameter 2 have been published and are available on the UKHTC website.

Evidence and analysis from Pentameter 2 is being used by the UKHTC to feed into work being undertaken by Regional Intelligence Units and its partners to produce a new estimate on the scale of trafficking for sexual exploitation. We intend to make this estimate available by the end of the year.