COSLA supports 16 Days of Activism - Day 6

Equally Safe is Scotland’s strategy to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls: this includes human trafficking and exploitation.

Human trafficking and exploitation are complex and hidden crimes, as well as abuses of human rights and dignity.  They are not only international issues, nor are they confined to our larger towns and cities but can and do affect women and girls in communities all over Scotland.  The many purposes for which people are exploited – including commercial sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, criminal exploitation (for example benefit fraud and forced drugs cultivation), domestic servitude, sham marriages and organ trafficking – are continually evolving.  

COSLA’s Community Wellbeing Spokesperson, Cllr Kelly Parry, says “Yesterday, Sunday 2nd December was the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

Trafficking and exploitation happens in our communities and this includes UK citizens. The statistics from the National Referral Mechanism show that women and girls make up 70% of victims of domestic servitude and an incredible 93% of victims of sexual exploitation. This and other strategies are clear this is not acceptable in Scotland and we need to work together to stop the trafficking and exploitation of women and girls locally, nationally and internationally.”

COSLA and Scottish local authorities are committed to contributing to tackling these issues and supporting victims of trafficking and exploitation.

The Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy sets out the approach and commitment to tackling trafficking by supporting and protecting victims, disrupting the activities of perpetrators and addressing the conditions which foster trafficking, both in Scotland and elsewhere.  COSLA is supporting Scottish local authorities in developing collaborative approaches to contribute to the Strategy.  

COSLA Chairs Action Area 1 within the strategy – this focuses on identifying victims and supporting them to safety and recovery. Resources for awareness raising have been developed and are freely available here.

We cannot address this issue alone - we must develop strong multi-agency partnerships with the public, private and third sector, and our local communities, to raise awareness, spot the signs, target the perpetrators and, most importantly, deliver care services to the women and girls who are affected by this crime.

You can find out more about Police Scotland’s ‘In Plain Sight’ Campaign, including the public awareness raising resources here


Article published: 
Mon, 03/12/2018 - 11:25