New Human Trafficking Bill for Scotland

Date: 17th March 2014
Category: Right to life, survival and development, Access to appropriate information

On 17th March 2014, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced that a dedicated Human Trafficking Bill for Scotland is to be introduced by Scottish Ministers.

The proposals, announced by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, hope to:

  • Consolidate and strengthen existing criminal law against human trafficking.
  • Enhance the status of and support for the victims of trafficking.
  • Give statutory responsibility to relevant agencies to work with the Scottish Government to develop and implement a Scottish Anti-Trafficking Strategy.

Together looks forward to taking part in the development of the Bill to ensure that the needs of children affected by trafficking are at the forefront of the above proposals.

The announcement follows the consultation lodged by Jenny Mara MSP on a proposal for new anti-human trafficking legislation for Scotland.

As highlighted in Together's response to the proposal for new human trafficking legislation, we recommend that a Human Trafficking (Scotland) Bill must:

  • fully embed a child-rights approach and have the best interests of children affected by trafficking at its core;
  • comply with international standards including the UNCRC and its Optional Protocol on the sale of children and the EU Human Trafficking Directive;
  • meet the Scottish Government's commitments to combat human trafficking arising from the on-going Summit process and in the SNAP action plan.

Together congratulates Jenny Mara MSP on the confirmation of a Human Trafficking (Scotland) Bill and welcomes the Scottish Ministers decision to introduce the Bill during this Parliamentary session.