A new report on human trafficking in the United Kingdom urges the authorities to improve the rate of prosecutions and convictions.
The survey is published today by the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).
GRETA President Nicolas Le Coz said: “The UK has clearly made significant progress in fighting human trafficking since the Council of Europe convention came into force, but there is still work to be done in a number of areas.
“For example, it is important that decisions on immigration and asylum are clearly separated from procedures to identify victims of trafficking, which hasn’t always happened in the UK. Similarly, a clear legal and policy framework is needed for the return of victims of trafficking to their countries of origin, as existing voluntary return programmes may not always be appropriate.
“Furthermore, significant numbers of children – including potential and confirmed victims of trafficking – currently go missing from local authority care in the UK. Steps should to be taken to address this, including by assigning a legal guardian to all unaccompanied children who are potentially victims of trafficking. Otherwise there is a risk that some child victims will simply end up back in the hands of the traffickers.
“Finally, the level of prosecutions and convictions for trafficking-related offences in the UK is low.”
Report: Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by the United Kingdom
Podcast: Sex slavery in Europe
Information: Action against trafficking in human beings
Video: Sex slavery in Strasbourg [fr] Full Interview