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Anti-Slavery Day

Volume 504: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010

Q13. If he will make it his policy to support the establishment of an Anti-Slavery Day in the UK to raise awareness of human trafficking. (313314)

The Government are determined to combat human trafficking. We are considering the hon. Gentleman’s proposal for the establishment of an awareness day, and will respond to him in due course.

We need that day even more now. Before the earthquake in Haiti, many of the 200 orphanages there were actually fronts for child trafficking. Since the earthquake, we have a new problem: 380,000 children at risk. Will the right hon. and learned Lady speak to her international aid contacts this afternoon and establish a network for children at risk, so that they have somewhere safe to be until they can trace their family or until there is time to set up some kind of arrangement to ensure their safety? The traffickers are circling. We need to make sure they do not catch the children.

I pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman for his work on the issue, which he has consistently and intelligently raised in the House. I agree that there is work to be done by the police and prosecutors internationally. There is also the work of voluntary organisations, which I know he supports, helping to bring the message warning people of the dangers of trafficking, and protecting those victims. I congratulate him on his suggestion. We will look into it.