COSLA unveils human trafficking guidance for Scottish local authorities
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COSLA Community Wellbeing Spokesperson Councillor Kelly Parry has launched new human trafficking guidance for Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

for Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

Speaking at the Anti-Slavery Day Stakeholder Forum in Edinburgh, Councillor Parry said:

“Human trafficking and exploitation have been reported in all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities. The victims of these atrocious crimes, men, women and children of any nationality, suffer unthinkable psychological and physical abuse.

“It is often said that human trafficking and exploitation is ‘hidden in plain sight,’ meaning that these crimes occur right across Scotland, in our villages, towns, cities and rural areas, and yet limited awareness amongst the general public enables these crimes to continue unchecked.

“Raising awareness is therefore an important element in the fight against human trafficking. As frontline service providers, local authorities play a key role in identifying and supporting victims and deterring criminal activity.

“It is crucial that all staff are informed about how these crimes might intersect with their day to day duties. I am pleased to share this guidance and affirm COSLA’s continued commitment to supporting Scottish local authorities in this important work.”

Minister for Community Safety Ash Denham said:

“Human trafficking is a terrible abuse of human rights, and it is a serious and complex crime, that is closer than we think. The victims often fear their traffickers, have distrust of the authorities and lack awareness that there are agencies that can support them to safety and recovery.

“I welcome COSLA’s human trafficking guidance for local authorities that was developed with input from the Scottish Government, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and other partners. COSLA are key partners in the fight against exploitation and they are doing a vital job in raising awareness of human trafficking and the signs of this intolerable crime.

“We are working in partnership with Police Scotland, prosecutors, councils, support agencies and many others to ensure a collaborative and robust approach to tackling this abhorrent crime and to ensure it has no place in Scotland today.”