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Scotland must do more in child trafficking fight

Human Trafficking
6 August 2015
Boy staring into distance Gratisography 0 3

A coalition of anti-trafficking charities today (Thursday August 6) will launch a new campaign calling on the Scottish Government to do more to help trafficked and exploited children.

CARE for Scotland, ECPAT UK and Walk Free are joining forces to launch a wide reaching petition that will put pressure on the Scottish Government to improve the Scottish Government’s Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill in regards to children.

The charities are calling on the Government to ensure an effective system of independent guardianship for all trafficked and separated children and to ensure children are not prosecuted for crimes they are forced to commit.

The campaign is also urging that improvements be made to the current drafting of what constitutes criminal offences.

While Scotland has led the way in respect to trafficked children via the Scottish Guardianship Service, it is not based fully on a statutory footing which means it fails to provide adequate protection for trafficked children.

MSPs are still considering the Scottish Government’s Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill, with Stage Three expected sometime in September when MSPs return from recess.

CARE for Scotland Parliamentary Officer Gordon Macdonald said:

“Child victims of trafficking are often the most vulnerable and therefore it is vital the Scottish Government’s trafficking legislation recognises children with specific clauses.

“Thanks to the Scottish Guardianship Service, Scotland has led the way in providing support and help for child victims but that service urgently needs to be put on a statutory basis in its fullest form. The partial approach being taken at present does not provide adequate protection for vulnerable children.

“Improving the Bill in respect to offences committed by children who are trafficked will also go some way to ensuring they receive adequate protection from unnecessary prosecution.

“The SNP will not want the embarrassment of having trafficking laws that in any way shape or form falls short of the Modern Slavery Act that covers England and Wales.

“England, Wales and Northern Ireland already have anti-trafficking laws in place and we want to ensure Scotland is not left behind in tackling the scourge of modern day slavery.”


Notes to Editors:

The three charities launching the campaign are ECPAT UK, Walkfree and CARE for Scotland.

For more information and interview requests, please contact James Mildred on 07581153693 or email

CARE for Scotland are a leading Christian charity who campaign on Human Trafficking:

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