Conservatives call for action on human trafficking

The Conservatives have called for Britain to sign up to a European convention on action against human trafficking.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis also called for the introduction of a border police force and tighter airport checks on women and children travelling without a partner, guardian or parent.

Mr Davis said that the convention had already been signed by 34 states and stressed that a specialist UK Border Police Force would have the expertise to intercept traffickers and victims at British borders.

He said: "Human trafficking is a hideous trade in human misery, which is spiralling out of control at the moment. We must stop ignoring it and start to tackle the criminal gangs who perpetrate it, and to protect the victims of it."

Mr Davis also announced a series of proposals aimed at tackling the problem including: introducing separate interviews at all airports for women and children travelling alone with an adult is not a parent, guardian or husband; strengthening the coordination between relevant government departments and the Serious Organised Crime Agency; reinforcing the UK Human Trafficking Centre, in order to ensure a coherent, joined-up approach; and ensuring that each police force and every local government association has a strategy for dealing with suspected victims of trafficking.

Mr Davis also said that a helpline should be set up to provide information for women who have been trafficked and for those who suspect exploitation.

The Conservatives said that research had shown that between 700,000 and two million women women and children were trafficked across international borders every year.

They also said that there were an estimated 4,000 victims of trafficking for prostitution in the UK during 2003 at any one time, but only 30 convictions for trafficking offences in 2004-2006, with no convictions for trafficking for labour exploitation.


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