CARE concerns cited in trafficking debateHuman Trafficking
CARE's concerns about human trafficking and the plight of Ukrainian refugees have been cited in a debate in the Scottish Parliament.
Donald Cameron, an MSP for the Highlands and Islands region, voiced our call to ensure the ongoing safety of refugees as they settle in Scotland, given their vulnerability to targeting by traffickers.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in late February, CARE has been urging legislators to consider the heightened threat of trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
Mr Cameron said:
"As the Christian charity CARE for Scotland has noted, it is essential that these refugees do not ‘fall off the radar’... There must be adequate follow-up checks by [those] trained to spot the signs of exploitation.
"It has recommended that online businesses crack down on unofficial social media groups being used to match prospective hosts with refugees because 'Such sites can quickly become a forum for traffickers'."
MSPs taking part in the debate also argued that the Scottish Government should do more to curb commercial sexual exploitation in Scotland by criminalising the purchase of sex.
CARE for Scotland has been urging MSPs to take this action, and curb online pimping sites that fuel prostitution and sex trafficking, over the last twelve months.
Bill Kidd MSP said:
"MSPs in the chamber are fully aware that the commoditisation of women and children through online child abuse material, pornography and the in-person sale of sexual exploitation, such as through strip clubs and prostitution, is violence against women and girls.
"We know that moral standpoint inherently, yet the abuse goes on. Worldwide, 92 per cent of the victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation are women and girls, making it a highly gendered form of exploitation.
”I want to compel my colleagues across this Parliament to shake off any form of passivity about the subject, because we have the power to do something about it.
"We can make Scotland hostile to predators who prey on the vulnerability of women and children by making it illegal for men to purchase sex."
Whilst Ruth Maguire MSP said:
"Trafficking in human beings is a financially motivated crime, and exploitation of prostitution in particular is motivated by traffickers’ knowledge of how much money they will make from men.
"Removing that financial incentive for criminals by tackling men’s demand is the way to end this cruel trade in human suffering. Our words and policy intentions do not keep women and girls safe.
We need legislation to punish those responsible, backed up by services to support victims. To end—not mitigate or manage—this harm requires a change in the law. I urge the Scottish Government to act now."
Find out more about CARE's work in this area on our cause page | CARE for Commercial Sexual Exploitation