Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 section 38: consultation analysis

This report provides an analysis of responses to our consultation on section 38 of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 on the duty to notify and provide information about victims.

Process and Respondents


Several sources of information have been used to inform this consultation. These were:

  • Public consultation survey
    The public consultation document and survey questions were available on the Government’s engagement website, Citizen Space, from 16 June 2019 to 06 September 2019.
  • Consultation events
    The Scottish Government held 7 consultation events over summer 2019 in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hamilton, Stirling, Inverness, Aberdeen and Dumfries. These were attended by over 200 individuals from a variety of backgrounds including public sector, NGO’s, law enforcement and members of the public. Attendees could submit anonymous responses at these events.
  • Letters
    Respondents were free to provide their views on issues related to the consultation in a letter, rather than following the form of the consultation survey, if they preferred.
  • Victim & Survivor Questionnaire
    A questionnaire was developed with support providers to seek views from victims and survivors who were currently in the NRM or had been through this process.  A copy of the questionnaire can be found at Annex 1.  The Cabinet Secretary for Justice had a private meeting with 3 women who completed this questionnaire.
  • Online Survey
    A short online survey was shared with the Scottish Government Primary Care Leads Network[7].  The network provide operational and clinical advice on Primary Care issues.  A copy of the questionnaire can be found at Annex 2.
  • Pilots
    The Scottish Government established a pilot of the duty between the City of Edinburgh Council, Border Force based at Glasgow Airport, and the National Human Trafficking Unit at Police Scotland.  Please see Annex 3 for further detail.

The analysis is based on the responses submitted to the consultation. Given the self-selected nature of the respondents, it is important to note that the views presented should not be seen as representative of the views of the wider population.


A total of 155 responses were received, broken down as follows:

Source  Responses from individuals  Responses from organisations  Unknown if individual or organisational response  Total 
Citizen Space online consultation  16 52   68
Anonymous responses submitted at consultation events      17 17
Letters    7   7
Anonymous Victim & Survivor Questionnaire 39     39
Anonymous online survey[8]     24 24
Total  55 59 41 155

Amongst responses that came from organisations, the following sectors were represented:

  • Health;
  • Health and Social Care Partnerships;
  • Justice;
  • Local Authority;
  • Professional Bodies; and
  • NGO & Third Sector

The “Health” category includes responses from some NHS boards and others providing a health service in Scotland.

The “Health and Social Care Partnerships” category includes responses exclusively from HSCPs located in the West of Scotland.

The “Justice” category includes responses from Police Scotland and other organisations involved in the law and its enforcement.

The “Local Authority” category includes responses from some of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

The “NGO & Third Sector” category includes responses from both national and local third sector and voluntary organisations, some of whom work directly with potential victims of human trafficking and/or other victims of crime.

The “Professional Bodies” category includes responses from bodies and organisations that are responsible for the oversight, training, examination or regulation of professionals and the publication of guidance/codes of practice for their members.

A full list of respondents can be found at Annex 4 which includes a more detailed breakdown of these categories.

Publication of Responses

Of the 75 responses received via Citizen Space and letters, 69 have been published on the Scottish Government website.  Six respondents indicated that they did not want their response published.  All other anonymous responses from the other sources of information have not been published.  All responses have been included in this analysis, irrespective of whether or not they have been published.



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