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Human Trafficking

Volume 568: debated on Tuesday 15 October 2013

9. What steps the Director of Public Prosecutions is taking to raise awareness amongst prosecutors of how to deal with cases of human trafficking; and what assessment he has made of whether current legislation is being used to prosecute such cases effectively. (900467)

Guidance is issued by the Crown Prosecution Service and it is regularly updated. There is a training programme for the CPS and the Director of Public Prosecutions will host a round-table event later this year to consider how best to strengthen prosecutions.

I thank the Solicitor-General for that response. This Friday 18 October is anti-slavery day, which aims to highlight human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Does my hon. and learned Friend agree that one of the key problems is that those crimes are very well concealed and seldom brought to the attention of the authorities and the police, and that wider public awareness, as well as the awareness of GPs and teachers, is required.

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. The Government are committed to publishing a draft modern-day slavery Bill later this year. There have been amendments to the law to enable more prosecutions to occur. The round-table event later this year will be important in raising awareness, as she suggests.

The Northern Ireland Assembly has recently brought in legislation on human trafficking that is perhaps unique in the United Kingdom. Has the Solicitor-General had any discussions with the Northern Ireland Assembly and, if so, what was the outcome?

I have not had such a discussion, but if the hon. Gentleman would like to talk to me about the issue, I would be happy to do so.

Will the Solicitor-General press the Home Secretary to consider this matter in drafting the modern-day slavery Bill?

The details of the Bill will be published in draft, so my hon. Friend will have an opportunity to contribute at that point. I pay tribute to the work that he does with the all-party group on human trafficking.