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Press releases archive

 

More than 6,000 people call on Scottish Government to protect children from trafficking in Scotland

Thursday 1st October 2015

The Scottish Parliament Building, EdinburghThe Scottish Government must today commit to strengthen its proposed criminal legislation on child trafficking if it wants to ensure children are protected from exploitation, ECPAT UK has said - ahead of handing over a petition to MSPs that has attracted the support of more than 6,000 people.

ECPAT UK is today due to hand over a petition to the co-convenors of the Scottish cross-party group on human trafficking, Christina McKelvie MSP and Jenny Marra MSP, outside the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh, before the final debate on the Human Trafficking & Exploitation (Scotland) Bill. 

Yet, ECPAT UK is still urging the Government to make sure its new legislation is as robust as possible by clarifying the criminal offence of slavery to ensure all forms of exploitation are covered and widening its proposed guardianship system to include all separated children, who are extremely vulnerable to trafficking. 

In addition, ECPAT UK is supporting amendments that will ensure even those children who are trafficked by their own parents are assigned an independent guardian to advocate for them and assist them in their recovery. 

Pressure from a campaign led by ECPAT UK, in partnership with Walk Free and Care, signed by over 6,000 people, has led the Government to concede on key campaign calls, including a clear provision to ensure that child victims are not prosecuted for crimes they are forced to commit by their traffickers, clarifying the vulnerability of children in the criminal offence and ensuring that guardians for trafficked children can advocate effectively by guaranteeing access to relevant information. 

Chloe Setter, Head of Advocacy, Policy & Campaigns at ECPAT UK, said: "This is a landmark opportunity for MSPs to pledge their support for children, who are the most vulnerable of all to human trafficking. We urge them to make sure Scotland's legislation is as strong as it can be to protect all children from exploitation and punish those who seek to abuse and enslave them."

ENDS

About ECPAT UK

ECPAT UK is a leading children's rights charity working on the issues of child exploitation and child trafficking. It is active in campaigning and lobbying Government, producing research, training frontline professionals and working with young victims of trafficking. ECPAT UK chairs the UK Government's Child Trafficking Group. For more, see: www.ecpat.org.uk. 

For media enquiries

Please contact Chloe Setter: c.setter@ecpat.org.uk / 020 7607 2136 or 07474 679003

About the campaign 

ECPAT UK, Walk Free and CARE are calling on the Scottish Government to take steps to protect children in Scotland from trafficking and modern slavery. The public is urged to contact Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, to ensure measures to protect children are included in the Scottish Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill.  Visit http://www.walkfree.org/child-trafficking-in-scotland/ for more details about the campaign.

About Walk Free 

Walk Free is a movement of millions of people everywhere, fighting to end one of the world's greatest evils: modern slavery. Learn more at www.walkfree.org 

About CARE

CARE is a well-established mainstream Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives. CARE is represented in the UK Parliaments and Assemblies, at the EU in Brussels and the UN in Geneva and New York.  CARE is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales at 53 Romney Street, London, SW1P 3RF, Company No: 3481417, Charity No: 1066963, Scottish Charity No: SC038911

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Copyright © ECPAT UK 2015.

Charity number: 1104948. Company Ltd by Guarantee: 5061385.
4A Chillingworth Road, London N7 8QJ. 
Tel: 020 7607 2136. Fax: 020 7700 5435. info@ecpat.org.uk.

 
 

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ECPAT UK is the leading expert voice on child trafficking in the UK and we offer a comprehensive training programme focused on safeguarding young people from trafficking, modern slavery, and transnational abuse. To find out more visit our training page

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