Human trafficking and exploitation (Scotland) act 2015: March 2018 circular
- Justice Directorate
- Part of
- Equality and rights, Law and order
This has information on the period during which Scottish ministers must secure the provision of support and assistance to adult victims of human trafficking.
The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 (Support For Victims) Regulations 2018
I am writing to draw your attention to the fact that Regulations in respect of section 9(2)(b)(i) and section 10(1) of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 ("the Act") will come into force on 1 April 2018.
The Act, and explanatory notes, may be accessed at:
A copy of the Regulations may be accessed at:
Section 9 – Support and assistance for adult victims
Section 9 of the Act confers power on the Scottish Ministers to define the relevant period during which they must secure the provision of support and assistance to adult victims as they consider necessary given the adult's needs, where there are reasonable grounds to believe that an adult is a victim of an offence of human trafficking under section 1 of the Act.
These Regulations define the period for the purposes of section 9(2)(b)(i) to be 90 days.
The relevant period begins on the date it is determined there are reasonable grounds to believe that the adult is a victim of an offence of human trafficking. The relevant period ends on the earlier of the following:
- (a) the end of the 90 days, or
- (b) the date on which there is a conclusive determination that the adult is or is not a victim of an offence of human trafficking.
Section 9(3) provides that the Scottish Ministers may also secure the provision of support and assistance for an adult before a reasonable grounds decision has been made, after the 90 days has passed and until there is a conclusive grounds decision, and a period post a conclusive grounds decision.
The Scottish Ministers must ensure the provision of support and assistance under Section 9 to an adult is only provided where the adult consents and is not made conditional on the adult assisting with a criminal investigation or prosecution.
Support and Assistance
Support and assistance provided under Section 9 may be provided in connection with (but not limited to) the following:
- (a) accommodation
- (b) day to day living
- (c) medical advice and treatment (including psychological assessment and treatment)
- (d) language translation and interpretation
- (e) counselling
- (f) legal advice
- (g) information about other services available to the adult
- (h) repatriation
Section 10 – Support and Assistance: Victims of an Offence Under Section 4 of the Act
Section 10 of the Act contains powers for the Scottish Ministers to make regulations about the support and assistance which may be provided to an adult who is, or appears to be, a victim of an offence under section 4 of the 2015 Act; namely slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
These Regulations provide that the process of determining whether an adult is a victim of an offence under section 4, the support and assistance provided and the period for which it should be provided should be identical to that for a victim of an offence of human trafficking, as set out in Section 9.
The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 (Commencement No.4) Regulations 2018
On 24 January my colleague Susan Young wrote to you to draw your attention to the fact that section 12 of the Act was being brought into force on 31 January 2018 and the remainder of section 9 of the Act was being brought into force on 1 April 2018 via the fourth set of Commencement Regulations for the Act.
A copy of the Commencement Regulations may be accessed at:
Grant funding is currently made to TARA and Migrant Help to secure the provision of the support set out above for adult suspected victims of human trafficking wherever they are recovered in Scotland.
Psychological trauma support is provided by means of a separate service between NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board and the Scottish Government.
Support for children is provided by local authorities and independent child trafficking guardians.
If the provider identifies that a victim has additional needs, other than as a result of being trafficked, for example drug or alcohol addictions, that cannot be managed by the provider, it is expected that local authorities and other relevant agencies should be responsible for accommodating these clients with bespoke assistance being provided on an outreach basis by the provider to address the trafficking issues.
Should you have any queries in relation to any of the above, please contact the Human Trafficking Team via the details provided at the top of this circular.
Further information on Human Trafficking more generally is available on the Scottish Government's website.
Human Trafficking Team
Criminal Justice Division
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Criminal Justice Division
T: 0131 244 2693
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