Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood and a member of both the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking and Home Affairs Select Committee, was pleased to back the Government’s work to tackle human trafficking.
A reception was recently held at Number 10 Downing Street to mark Anti-Slavery Day, and to encourage awareness of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. The day was established last year following the campaigning work of the Conservative former-MP, Anthony Steen.
Human trafficking is a brutal form of organised crime where women, children and men are treated as commodities and exploited for criminal gain. In July the Government published a Human Trafficking Strategy to address the crime by supporting victims and fighting traffickers. The Strategy focuses on four core themes:
- improving identification and care of victims – the aim is to ensure victims receive support tailored to their needs but also to prevent people becoming victims in the first place
- enhancing our ability to act early before harm reaches the UK – the Government is working to deter and disrupt trafficking overseas
- smarter action at the border – strengthening our border controls and policing will make it harder for traffickers to enter the UK
- more coordination of our law enforcement efforts – the establishment of the National Crime Agency in 2013 will create a Border Police Command to improve immigration controls and crack down on trafficking.
Government has also protected £2 million of annual funding for two years for victims of trafficking. In addition, all UKBA front line staff have been given training to ensure they are aware of human trafficking and child protection issues.
Commenting Mark Reckless MP said:
‘Human trafficking is something that appalls people across Rochester and Strood and I’m pleased to back this Government’s work to tackle this terrible crime.
‘The UK must not be a safe haven for trafficking and those who traffic women, children or men must be pursued and brought to justice.
‘The Government’s Human Trafficking Strategy and the new National Crime Agency’s Border Police Command will help focus action on this issue’.
Notes to Editors
Further Government action
Additionally, since the Human Trafficking Strategy was published in July, the Government has:
- started a new programme in West Africa providing authorities in Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria with training to improve trafficking investigations and help with successful prosecutions;
- identified nine priority countries which will be the focus of our fight against trafficking before they reach the UK – the priority countries are Nigeria, China, Vietnam, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Uganda, India and Albania;
- started work with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development to identify other areas for engagement in these nine priority countries to prevent trafficking before it happens.