Protect children from trafficking in Scotland

6 August 2015

Trafficking in ScotlandECPAT UK, Walk Free and CARE have launched a campaign calling on the Scottish Government to provide vital support for trafficked children in anti-trafficking legislation. http://www.walkfree.org/child-trafficking-in-scotland/ 

Five days from her 18th birthday, ‘Ruby’ escaped her traffickers in Scotland, having endured two violent years of sexual exploitation and ritual abuse.[1] She had to tell her story to professionals 15 times. But after therapy and support from a specialised service, she began to rebuild her life. 

Not all children get access to the support Ruby received. Some trafficked children have been prosecuted for crimes they were forced to commit. Others go missing and are re-trafficked. Many endure years of abuse – but now there is an opportunity to change this. 

Call on the Scottish Government to take steps to protect children in Scotland from trafficking and modern slavery.

The Scottish Parliament will soon be debating the new Scottish Human Trafficking Bill.[2] This legislation is an opportunity to provide vital support for trafficked children and those at risk of trafficking and slavery. But we need your help to make it stronger – policy makers now have the chance to make the law better for children in Scotland.

As it stands, the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill does not go far enough to protect the most vulnerable of all – children. Just a few simple amendments could drastically improve the legislation and make sure that children are protected and their abusers more easily brought to justice. That’s where you come in.

Please take a moment to urge the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP, to ensure measures to protect children are included in the Scottish Human Trafficking & Exploitation Bill.

You may remember that earlier this year we ran a successful campaign asking policy-makers to include protections for children in the England and Wales Modern Slavery Act. This shows that together we have the power to influence change, and with your help, we can do the same in Scotland.

Stand with us to protect children in Scotland and make the country an unwelcome place for human traffickers.

[1] http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/misery-scotlands-sex-slaves-stolen-5430531

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