Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy: first annual progress report

The first annual progress report sets out the progress made during the first year of implementation of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy.

Foreword Cabinet Secretary For Justice

Photo of Michael Matheson Cabinet Secretary for Justice

Scotland’s first Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy was published in May 2017, setting out an ambitious blueprint for moving towards a Scotland free of human trafficking. This followed the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015, which introduced new offences and powers to detect and tackle trafficking.

The process of developing the Strategy was one of close partnership working and this approach has continued during the first year of implementation. Each action area identified in the Strategy, as well as the child trafficking strand, is being driven forward by a multi-agency implementation group. There is a wide range of bodies within Scotland and beyond who recognise our collective responsibility to work together to address this terrible crime and support its victims.

A strong focus on victims remains central to this work. Consultation with survivors informed development of the Strategy, and through Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance ( TARA) and Migrant Help we continue to listen to the voices of victims, ensure they get the support they need and work to reduce the risk of re-victimisation.

The goals of the Strategy are a mix of shorter and longer term aims, and meaningful change can only be achieved through a process of continuous improvement. We must learn from the progress we have made and be open to new ideas and the experiences of others. This first annual progress report is an important part of this approach, providing a narrative of what has been achieved during the last year as well as concrete measures of what has changed, and setting out some key priorities for the coming year. Within three years of publishing the Strategy we are required to review it and if necessary publish a revised and updated strategy.

I am pleased at the significant progress that has been made in implementing the Strategy, set out in detail in this report, and I am grateful to all partners who have contributed to this work. Together, we are improving support to victims, strengthening the disruption of trafficking activity and addressing the conditions that foster trafficking and exploitation.

Michael Matheson
Cabinet Secretary for Justice


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