1. GENERAL INFORMATION
The United Kingdom (UK) is a major destination country for women, children, and men trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labour. To date, the UK has focused its anti-trafficking policies on the identification and arrest of offenders and victim support.
The victims primarily come from Asia (mainly China, Vietnam and Malaysia), Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Balkans. Migrants are trafficked to the UK for sexual exploitation, forced labour (especially in agriculture), construction, food processing, food services and for domestic servitude.
The UK Government published a new Human Trafficking Strategy in July 2011 to lend direction and focus to the national activities to tackle this crime. The new victim support model also came into force last summer, with the Salvation Army taking over as the main contractor. The UK has also been heavily involved in the EU EMPACT and Action Plan work streams.
Most recently published data shows that between 1st April 2009 and 30th June 2011 there were 1664 referrals to the UK’s National Referral Mechanism, of which:
- 1192 (or 72%) are female.
- 1226 (0r 74%) are adults
- 575 (or 47%) adults trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation
- 438 child referrals in this time
- The five most referred nationalities (Vietnam, Nigeria, China, UK and Romania) account for 293 (67%) of all child referrals
The proportions within the categories have remained stable, whilst the overall number of identified victims has gone up.
The National Referral Mechanism has been enhanced by raising awareness amongst those referring in and also granting access to additional partners who come in contact with potential victims (child NGOs Barnardo’s and NSPCC).
We are aware that in the run-up to the London Olympics in 2012 criminals may seek to profit from the games by increasing their activities, including in relation to trafficking. We remain vigilant and have measures in place to deal with any potential increase in the threat. However, to date, we have not seen any evidence of any increase in trafficking in the area around the Olympic Park.
Most adult victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation or domestic servitude, but some, especially men, are exploited for their labour. Child trafficking victims are brought to the UK for a whole host of purposes, including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, benefit fraud, cannabis farming and forced criminality such as street begging, theft and shoplifting.
The ways in which people become trafficking victims are complex and traffickers’ recruitment methods are diversifying. Crime groups engage victims by using a range of methods for example by utilising strong links in communities to coerce or deceive victims into travelling to the UK. Alternatively they may advertise job opportunities on websites or in local papers. Often victims travel here willingly, in the belief that they are destined for a better life, including paid work, either legally or illegally. They may also believe that the people arranging their passage and papers are merely facilitators, helping with their journey, rather than people who aim to control and exploit them for their own personal gain.
National Referral Mechanism
The National Referral Mechanism is a multi-agency framework which allows a variety of agencies to contribute towards identifying, protecting, and supporting potential trafficking victims. In 2011 there were 946 referrals to the NRM, 634 were female and 312 were male. 712 were adults and 234 were children.
2. INSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK
All forms of trafficking are prohibited through the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc) Act 2004. The Sexual Offences Act introduced wide-ranging offences in England, Wales and Northern Ireland covering trafficking into, out of and within the UK for any form of sexual offence. The offence of ‘trafficking for exploitation’, which covers non-sexual exploitation including trafficking for forced labour and the removal of organs, was included in the Asylum and Immigration Act of 2004.
This legislation prescribes penalties for human trafficking of a maximum of 14 years' imprisonment.
The Borders Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 expanded the definition of exploitation within the trafficking context to include those cases where children or vulnerable adults are brought into the UK for the purpose of obtaining benefits and where the role of the child or vulnerable adult is entirely passive.
The equivalent Scottish provisions are contained in the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003.
Following its ratification in December 2008 of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, the UK introduced a reflection period of 45 days and the possibility of a one-year residence permit for those whose status as victims of trafficking has been agreed by the Competent Authority, based either in the UK Border Agency or the UK Human Trafficking Centre.
National Strategy/National Action Plan
The UK government launched its first National Action Plan against human trafficking in March 2007. The Action Plan waslast updated in October 2009 to include the previous year’s achievements and the goals for the year ahead.
The National Action Plan details 38 actions to tackle human trafficking across four key areas: prevention; investigation, law enforcement and prosecution; providing protection and assistance to adult victims of trafficking; and specific measures for child victims.
The National Action Plan is jointly published by the Home Office and Scottish Government, The overall document is approved by Home Office and Scottish Ministers with particular input from the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group(IDMG).
Coordination of anti-trafficking actions at a national level
An Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking (IDMG) was establishedin 2005. The IDMG provides a strategic oversight of all trafficking issues and directs UK policy on human trafficking, including any issues in relation to the National Referral Mechanism (see victim protection). Information and reports on its progress are fed back into the group. The group are able to discuss, analyse and, where necessary, make decisions regarding issues that arise from the any part of the UK’s overall strategy including the functioning of the National Referral Mechanism.
Additionally, a Non-Governmental Organisation Stakeholder Groupwas established in 2006 co-chaired by the Attorney General and the Minister for Policing and Crime Reduction. This forum provides the NGO sector with the opportunity to comment on progress on the National Action Plan and implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Trafficking.
National Rapporteur or equivalent mechanisms
The UK introduced a National Referral Mechanism in April 2009 to formalise the identification of victims of trafficking and facilitate their referral to support services.
3. IMPLEMENTATION OF ANTI-TRAFFICKING POLICY
The UK government utilises data and knowledge from enforcement operations to gain a better understanding of all forms of trafficking. It continues to support projects to raise awareness and combat trafficking and its root causes in key source and transit areas such as Thailand the Greater Mekong sub Region. The Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Serious Organised Crime Agency support a number of initiatives aimed at tackling trafficking at source. This work has four components: awareness raising measures; work designed to build capacity in source countries to deal with organised immigration crime; working with the EU and intra-governmentally to combat trafficking; and actions to address the factors that make poor people vulnerable to trafficking.
This work is complemented by the development of the Blue Blindfold brand. The UK government ran an awareness campaign in 2007 in 12 major cities in the country. Blue Blindfold, devised and initiated by the UK Human Trafficking Centre in partnership with other agencies, is designed to raise awareness among professionals and the public, and to support victims. Blue Blindfold and is one the initiatives recommended by the United States State Department Trafficking in People (TIP) Report 2009. It is currently being used in an awareness campaign in Northern Ireland.
The UK has introduced a new model for funding adult support in England and Wales from 1 July 2011. Following a competitive tender exercise, The Salvation Army has been selected to be a prime contractor, and will have a case-management function as well as responsibility for overseeing and coordinating the provision of care. The Salvation Army will sub-contract organisations to provide support tailored to the individual needs of identified adult victims, allowing the support system to adapt to changing demand and develop a greater range of service provision. This will also improve our ability to track a victim through the system and monitor the quality of the service provided.
The UK Border Agency has introduced the e-Borders programme. This is an electronic borders scheme designed to improve the security, efficiency and effectiveness of the border. It will collect and analyse information from carriers (including airlines, ferries and rail companies) about passengers who intend to travel to or from the UK before they travel. This record of passenger movements significantly strengthens the security of the UK by telling us in advance who plans to cross our border so that we can check travellers against lists of people known to pose a threat. It will also enable us to focus staff resources better so that we can stop passengers who are most likely to pose a risk and allow the vast majority of passengers to pass through our border quickly.
e-Borders currently screens more than 55% of all passenger and crew movement and will screen over 90% by the end of this Parliament. Passenger screening is already paying dividends: between April 2005 and January 2011 275 million passenger movements had been checked, resulting in over 7,900 arrests for crimes including murder, rape, assault, and facilitation.
In May 2008, the government piloted a poster campaign in Westminster and Nottingham to alert potential sex clients about human trafficking and off-street prostitution. The campaign also included on-line advertisements in local newspapers. Following a public consultation period in 2008/09 the UK introduced new legislation in the Police and Crime Act 2009 aimed at reducing demand for prostitution.
We will be establishing a National Crime Agency (NCA) to build on and enhance the UK’s capabilities in tackling organised crime. From 2013, the NCA will connect the efforts of local policing and neighbourhood action to national agencies and action overseas to improve the UK’s response to serious and organised crime, including human trafficking, and strengthen arrangements at the border. The NCA will comprise distinct Commands for Organised Crime, Border Policing, Economic Crime, and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), and will build on the capabilities and expertise of its precursor organisations such as SOCA and the UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC). At its heart will be an intelligence hub which will build and maintain a comprehensive picture of the threats, harms and risks to the UK from organised criminality. Building on the existing, improved capability of the UKHTC, this hub will draw in intelligence from a wide range of law enforcement organisations – such as the police and UK Border Agency – to form a comprehensive picture of organised criminality that UKHTC will be able to use in tackling those involved in human trafficking.
The government also provides anti-trafficking training to UK nationals deployed abroad in international peacekeeping missions.
Assistance and support provided to victims
In April 2009, a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) was put in place in order to help co-ordinate the identification and referral of victims into support. Statistical data on victims of trafficking was published by the UKHTC covering the period 2009-10. The UK’s strategy, as outlined in the National Action Plan 2009, has victims’ needs at its centre. Support is being provided to NGO support service providers, Eaves Housing for Women (Poppy Project) project and Migrant Helpline to provide support for victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced labour respectively. The UKHTC has also established an advisory sub- group which focus on the needs of victims with which the UKHTC consults. In Scotland similar support to that of the Poppy Project is provided by the TARA project.
The Welsh Assembly Government have appointed an anti-trafficking coordinator to co-ordinate evidence of the scale of human trafficking in Wales and to co-ordinate services and support to victims. Robert Tooby, who took up the role in April, will have a close working relationship with the Home Office and UKHTC.
The Poppy Project
The UK Government has funded the Poppy Project since 2003, with a remit to provide safe accommodation and a range of support services for adult women trafficked into the country for sexual exploitation. The Poppy Project is managed by Eaves Housing for Women, and has provided refuge to victims of human trafficking since 2003. The project provides support either on an outreach basis or via accommodation and support to 353 victims. The government currently provides£ 4 million to the NGO sector to provide support for victims of trafficking.
For the women who do not fit the criteria required to be included in the project, POPPY offers support through an outreach service launched in 2007.
Women who are not accommodated by POPPY can receive help from hostels working with homeless people, refuges for victims of domestic violence, embassies, Immigration Advisory Service etc.
In Scotland, the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA) Project was set up in 2004 in order to provide services to victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. TARA, which is similar to POPPY, works with the police, housing departments, health professionals and relevant non-governmental organisations.
A reflection period of 45 days is granted to victims of human trafficking. This period will allow a victim of trafficking to recover and consider whether s/he would like to cooperate with the police in criminal proceedings. In addition, a temporary one year residence permit can also be given to identified victims of trafficking.
Special protective measures for children
The measures in the National Action Plan apply equally to adults and children. Child trafficking continues to be a crime that causes serious harm to a number of children in the UK each year. Reports from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre suggest there are on average around 300 child trafficking victims in the UK per annum.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) have developed a Strategic Threat Assessment on Child Trafficking which contains profiles used by frontline agencies in order to identify trafficked children. Similarly, ECPAT (UK) developed an e-learning tool used by practitioners in order to identify child trafficking. The Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) established a Young Runaways Action Plan to address the issues of children who run away from home or care.
As part of raising awareness and the identification of more child victims, two key non-Governmental organisations: Barnardo’s and the NSPCC’s – Child Trafficking Advice and Information Line, have accepted the Government’s invitation to become NRM first responders. It is hoped this will raise awareness of the key issues amongst practitioners and ensure more referrals of potential victims of trafficking.
The London Safeguarding Children Board have launched their child trafficking guidance and toolkit this year. Government were involved in the formation of this work and it is hoped that the roll out will better equip practitioners with the skills to identify potential victims of this crime.
The Home Office continue to provide partnership support to the NSPCC Child Trafficking Advice and Information Line which provides practitioners with active support to safeguard children suspected of being trafficked as well as making a positive difference to outcomes in individual case referrals.
The Association of Chief Police Officers issued a joint position paper on Children and Young People Recovered in Cannabis Farms in summer 2010 setting out comprehensive guidance to officers investigating commercial cannabis cultivation offences on how to deal with and safeguard children found in these circumstances. In addition, officials are working across Government and with our partners to improve procedures through updated guidance to police forces and to Crown Prosecutors.
Latest numbers of prosecutions and convictions
According to the 2010 US State Department Trafficking Report, the government convicted 31 trafficking offenders for sexual exploitation under its Sexual Offences Act and convicted two offenders for forced labour under its Asylum and Immigration Act in 2009. The average length of imposed sentences on the 31 convicted offenders was 4.4 years.
Investigation and prosecution
Established multidisciplinary groups, special units/police groups
In 2006, the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) was formally opened. This is a multi-agency organisation that acts as a central point of co-ordination for intelligence, analysis and operational activities around human trafficking. It works very closely with law enforcement agencies throughout the country and with non-governmental organisations as well as with the Home Office in helping to combat human trafficking. The legal entity for the UKHTC has recently transferred to the Serious Organised Crime Agency and will therefore ensure even closer joined-up working.
The UKHTC is currently supporting nine police investigations into internal trafficking of UK girls for sexual exploitation. On 29 June the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency (CEOP) published the findings of a six-month investigation into ‘on street grooming’ within the UK.
Pentameter, a Reflex multi-agency operation, was the first policing operation involving all 55 police forces in the UK to tackle trafficking for sexual exploitation. Pentameter 1, which ran between February and May 2006, was very successful.
In March 2008, the government completed Pentameter II, a large-scale operation aimed at disrupting trafficking networks (both for sexual exploitation and forced labour) and rescuing victims. According to the US State Department Trafficking Report, the operation resulted in the identification of 167 potential trafficking victims, the arrest of 528 suspects and over $5 million in assets seized or forfeited. The UK government reported prosecuting 129 ongoing trafficking cases between March 2008 and March 2009.
Another operation aimed at dismantling trafficking was Operation Paladin. It is designed to identify child victims who enter the UK via London’s ports.
As victims of trafficking for forced labour can be found in various sectors depending on the season, the UK Parliament approved legislation establishing a licensing regime for those supplying casual labourers to the sector – gangmasters – and a special regulatory body, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA). The Authority started its activity in 2006 and in the first two years of existence focused on licensing legitimate businesses. It has now moved on to targeting the unlicensed and illegitimate operators and has launched Operation Ajax, a series of major, unannounced, intelligence raids due to take place over the years 2008 – 2010.
The UK has so far had 138 convictions for trafficking; 131 for trafficking for sexual exploitation, including three for conspiracy to traffick and seven for labour trafficking.
Latest initiatives/activities related to anti-antitrafficking policy:
UK Border Agency rolled out the airlines initiative with Virgin Atlantic on 18 October 2011 EU Anti-trafficking Day and UK’s Anti-Slavery Day to raise awareness of human trafficking victims among flight attendants and to introduce a reporting mechanism for them.
The UK Government also held a series of topical workshops with NGO partners to further collaborative working.
- We continue to work through the implications of activity in devolved versus reserved areas within the UK.
- Data collection and reporting presents analytical challenges given the hidden nature if so much human trafficking activity.
National Referral Mechanism
A formal referral into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is made by one of the designated First Responders. Decisions about who is a victim of trafficking are then made by trained specialists in designated ‘Competent Authorities’. In the UK these are the UK Human Trafficking Centre and the UK Border Agency, the latter for those victims of trafficking who have made an asylum or immigration application.
The NRM was reviewed within government and with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) after 6 and 12 months, which highlighted areas for improvement and examples of best practice, and informed policy development. A number of improvements were made to the victim-identification process as a result, including new guidance and a bespoke training course for competent authorities designed by a professional trainer with integrated presentations from NGOs. It is a continuing challenge to increase awareness amongst First Responders so indicators of trafficking are always identified and referral takes place.
4. EU AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
In the UK, several international initiatives have focused on addressing trafficking in source countries. The Home Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DfID) support several projects in source countries. This work is threefold – raising awareness regarding the dangers of trafficking, addressing the factors which make poor people vulnerable to trafficking, and capacity building in source and transit countries. For example, the government has funded targeted prevention projects in key source countries including Bulgaria, Romania, and many countries in Asia.
Operation Golf, the Metropolitan Police’s Joint Investigation Team with Romanian police setup to investigate, prosecute and disrupt Romanian Roma orgainsed crime groups responsible for trafficking children to the UK to commit crimes such as begging and theft, revealed the extent to which traffickers can adapt by organising themselves and their victims.
Future plans in terms of implementation of the directive 2011/36/EU
The UK is applying to the European Commission to opt in to the EU Directive. Subject to the Commission’s acceptance of our application, we will work with the Commission to implement the requirements of the Directive. Our current assessment is that the UK would be required to:
- Widen one existing offence of trafficking for forced labour;
- Amend existing trafficking offences to confer extra-territorial jurisdiction over UK nationals who commit trafficking offences anywhere in the world;
- Make mandatory some measures which are currently good practice (for example, appointing special representatives to support child witnesses during police investigations and criminal trials);
- Set out the rights of victims to assistance and support.
The UK Home Office is in the process of passing the small amount of necessary primary legislation. Work is starting now to identify the details of any secondary legislation that may be required and exploring how to effectively evidence our compliance.
Publication of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking report
Ahead of the formal requirement in the Directive, coming into force after 6 April 2013, the Inter Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking (IDMG), the UK’s National Rapporteur Equivalent Mechanism, published in October a first annual report on human trafficking. The report looks at trends and statistics and set out progress against the Government’s Human Trafficking Strategy (July 2011).
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 included clauses to widen an existing offence of trafficking for forced labour and amend existing trafficking offences to confer extra-territorial jurisdiction over UK nationals who commit trafficking offences anywhere in the world. In May 2012 the Government published a review of current trafficking legislation. The Home Office worked with the Crown Prosecution Service, UK Human Trafficking Centre, Ministry of Justice, Association of Chief Police Officers, devolved administration and legal advisors to identify possible amendments to improve our ability to prosecute and deter. There is no evidence that the current human trafficking legislation is inadequate.
We have strong measures in place to provide assistance and support to victims and to ensure child victims receive appropriate protection and representation. Funding for supporting adult victims of trafficking has been protected at £2 million per year in England and Wales. From 1 July 2011 a new model for funding adult support in England and Wales was introduced. A central contractor has a case-management function with responsibility for overseeing and coordinating the provision of care. This model enables funding to follow the victim to whichever organisation supports them, allowing the support system to adapt to changing demand and develop a greater range of service provision.
The UK Government is working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure there is a common understanding of the requirements the Directive places on the UK and how these will be reflected in reserved and devolved areas.
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- Asylum and Immigration Act of 2004 (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) - Section 4
- Borders Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 – Section 54
- Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004
- Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2005 amendments
- Immigration and Asylum Act, 1999
- Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006
- Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
- Sexual Offences Act 2003 - Sections 57-59
5.2 National Action Plans
5.3.1 National reports on implementation
5.3.2 Other reports and publications
- ICMPD Study on the assessment of extent of different types of trafficking in EU countries_en.pdf
- UNODC 2009 Global report on trafficking in persons_en.pdf
- US Trafficking in Persons Report 2010_en.pdf
- US Trafficking in Persons Report 2011_United Kingdom_en
- OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings
- An evidence assessment of the routes of human trafficking into the UK.pdf
- National Referral Mechanism Statistics_EN.pdf
- All Change Preventing Trafficking in the UK.pdf
- Wrong kind of victims.pdf
- US Trafficking in Persons 2012 United Kingdom_en.pdf
- 5.3.1 National reports on implementation
National Rapporteur or equivalent mechanisms
OFCU, OIC Team
2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF
Telephone:+ 44 20 7035 4848 (09:00-17:00 Mon-Fri)
UK Human Trafficking Centre
Telephone: +44 (0)114 252 3891
The Gangmasters Licensing Authority
PO Box 8538 , Nottingham, NG8 9AF
Telephone: +44 845 602 5020
NCA - National Crime Agency
1-7 Old Queen Street
Thomas Clarkson House
The Stableyard, Broomgrove Road, London SW9 9TL
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7501 8920
Amnesty International - International Secretarial
1 Easton street, London WC1X 0DW
Telephone:+44 20 74135500
AFRUCA - Africans Unite Against Child Abuse
Unit 3D/F Leroy House, 436 Essex Road, London N1 3QP
Telephone: +44 844 660 8607
BAWSO Cardiff - Head Office
9, Cathedral Road
Tel: 029 20644 633
Fax: 029 20644 588
Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex
Telephone: 0208 550 8822
Fax: 0208 551 6870
Tel:+44 (0) 207 233 9887
Fax: +44 (0) 207 233 9869
Bristol Counter-Trafficking Coalition
Easton Community Centre
Bristol, Avon BS5 6AW
0117 954 1409
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
33 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2WG
Telephone: +44 870 000 3344
Dalit Freedom Network
DFN UK, PO Box 24, Oswestry
Tel: (+44) 01691 776709
Tel:+44 (0) 207 233 9887
Fax: +44 (0) 207 233 9869
Grosvenor Gardens House
35 – 37 Grosvenor Gardens
London SW1W 0BS
Tel:+44 (0) 207 233 9887
Fax: +44 (0) 207 233 9869
Helen Bamber Foundation
5, Museum House
25 Museum Street
London WC1A 1JT
Phone: 020 7631 4492
Fax: 020 7631 4493
International Organisation for Migration
11 Belgrave Road, London SW1V 1RB
Tel: +44 20 7811 6011
Fax +44 20 7811 6043
St Francis of Assisi Community Centre
13 Hippodrome Place
London W11 4SF
Telephone: 0207 243 2942
Fax: 0207 792 3060
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Weston House, 42 Curtain Road,
London EC2A 3NH
Telephone: 020 7825 2500
Fax: 020 7825 2525
Eaves for Women – Poppy Project
Unit 2.03 Canterbury Court
Kennington Business Park
1-3 Brixton Road
London SW9 6DE
Stop The Traffik
75 Westminster Bridge Road
London, SE1 7HS, U.K.
CEOP Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre DCSF Department of Children, Schools and Families DfID Department for International Development FCO Foreign and Commonwealth Office IDMG Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking GLA Gangmasters Licensing Authority TARA Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance UKHTC United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre
- 5.1. Legislation
Table of Contents
- 1. GENERAL INFORMATION
- 2. INSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK
- 3. IMPLEMENTATION OF ANTI-TRAFFICKING POLICY
- 4. EU AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION