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Countering Human Trafficking: The UK?s Efforts

30 November, 2015



The United Kingdom (UK) is a destination country for men, women, and children primarily from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe who are subjected to human trafficking for the purposes of sexual slavery and forced labour, including domestic servitude. Human trafficking is a subject of growing concern in the UK this has led to the UK Government taking positive action in terms of improving legislation and punishment for trafficking and slavery offences. In 2015, the UK Government passed new legislation in the form of the Modern Slavery Act to restructure the criminal offences linked to trafficking and to implement tougher sentencing powers and create a new post of Modern Slavery Commissioner to oversee changes in the UK trafficking response. The legislation also gives support to victims in terms of the provision of mechanisms for seizing traffickers’ assets and channelling some of that money towards victims for compensation payments and the creation of a new statutory defence for slavery or trafficking victims compelled to commit criminal offences. However there is still a long way to go in terms of investment into dedicated police human trafficking training and investigation capacity as police forces in the UK are facing up to 45% budget cuts over an 8 year period up to 2018. It should also be said that there is also a training and awareness requirement for the legal profession including prosecuting and defence lawyers as well as the judiciary.

This 2015 paper by Bernie Gravett of Specialist Policing Consulting UK, analyses from a security sector perspective, the structure, politique and process of efforts to counter THB.


Giji Gya