Greetings from The Slave Detective,
The USA publishes The TIP report every year that examines how effective countries are in their fight against Modern Day Slavery.
I was questioned recently about some figures that I published. Are you sure the UK only prosecuted EIGHT Human Trafficking cases?
The TIP Report for 2012, said:
“According to the Crown Prosecution Service, between April and December 2011, the British government prosecuted 87 offenses of trafficking for sexual exploitation. There were 29 offenses of labor trafficking or other forms of exploitation, prosecuted under the Asylum and Immigration Act; and 11 offenses for slavery and servitude prosecuted under the Coroners and Justice Act.”
If this is indeed the case then of course that is so much better.
It prompted me to consider writing to The Freedom of Information Act to ask for exact figures of people convicted of Offences under Section 57, 58 and 59 of the Sexual Offences Act 2004 (trafficking into The UK, within the Uk and Out of The UK), S.4 of the asylum and Immigration Act 2004 (Forced Labour and Domestic Servitude) and the new section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 entitled … ‘Slavery and Human Trafficking”.
But then I read the excellent article written by Laura Davies in The Independent Newspaper. This article “one child is too many” she had a banner headline about half way down the article “In 2011, there were just eight convictions for human trafficking.” I can tell you I didn’t get my figures from he article, I wrote mine seven days before I posted on the day before this piece.
The article is also hard punching as it examines “The UK continues to be a significant transit and destination country for child trafficking, with reporting confirming the existence of child trafficking both into and within the UK.”
the Metropolitan Police is one of the few Policing Agencies which has attempted to tackle this. Op PALADIN has been running out the Child Protection Team for a long time. The management has moved some of their most effective Detectives away from this team (utilising their best resources once again) but when you examine that this is a Team of five and the impact they have on the problem you have to take your hat off to them.
I hope The Met doesn’t meddle with Op PALADIN (although it must be time to close something useful!). I think it might have been of use to this article to highlight the work they have done but in all I echo exactly what Laura Davies has written. We can not let our Children suffer this way and we have a duty to protect every child.
Christine Beddoe, from the charity End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT), feels that there is a culture of disbelief in the UK when it comes to acknowledging cases of trafficking. It is a shame Christine is leaving ECPAT as she was a powerful force.
Laura closes with :-
‘We are used to hearing the word “trafficking”, but it can so easily be dismissed as a foreign concept. The reality is, in the UK, we accommodate traffickers and the abuse of their silent victims. The problem is vast and widespread, with cases in Belfast, Derby, Portsmouth, Cardiff, London, Totness, Oxford, Croydon, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol.
Child sex trafficking is happening, but arrests aren’t, and neither are prosecutions. And so on Anti-Slavery Day, there’s a question to propose to the Home Office:
We know there are victims, but where are the perpetrators?’