Christian charity CARE has welcomed the news that the Scottish Government is to bring forward a Scottish Human Trafficking Bill based on that proposed by Jenny Marra MSP.

Jenny Mara MSP

Jenny Mara MSP

CARE – Christian Action, Research and Education – is part of the Abolition Scotland campaign which just last week wrote to the Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill MSP calling on him to back Ms Marra’s Bill.

Announcing the Bill today, Mr MacAskill said it would:

  • consolidate and strengthen existing criminal law against human trafficking;
  • enhance the status of and support for the victims of trafficking;
  • give statutory responsibility to relevant agencies to work with the Scottish Government to develop and implement a Scottish Anti-Trafficking Strategy

It will mean victims of human trafficking in Scotland will be better cared for, prosecuting traffickers will be made simpler and trafficking will be a priority for agencies across Scotland.

Welcoming the Bill, Louise Gleich, CARE’s Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Policy Officer said:

“Crucially this Bill is not limited to criminal justice measures but will provide real support for victims, something that is lacking in the Draft Modern Slavery Bill. We commend the Scottish Government for this initiative and look forward to the development of what could be a ground-breaking law.

“We urge the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to follow the example of the Scottish Government and propose an ambitious, innovative Modern Slavery Bill for England and Wales when the final Bill comes to Parliament later in the year.”

Alongside the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill currently making its way through the Northern Ireland Assembly, this announcement from Scotland means that only England and Wales will be left without a comprehensive human trafficking law.

• Full story at CARE.