Slavery and human trafficking statement

Our slavery and human trafficking statement outlines the strategies and actions we have taken to identify, prevent and mitigate slavery and human trafficking in our own operations and supply chains.

1. First Minister's Foreword

Human trafficking takes place in every region of the world. It is an appalling abuse of human rights, including the right to liberty and security, the right to be free from slavery, and the right to be free from gendered violence.

This is the Scottish Government's first Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement. It underpins our commitment to ensuring that slavery and human trafficking in any form is eradicated from the modern, open Scotland we are building. We each have a vital role to play, including the public sector, and I commit to reviewing this Statement annually to ensure the Scottish Government is transparent in its efforts to combat this sickening crime.

The Scottish Government is committed to delivering an inclusive Scotland that protects, respects and fulfils internationally-recognised human rights. It is incumbent on modern, progressive countries such as Scotland to demonstrate leadership on human rights. Our work to tackle human trafficking is inextricably linked to this moral imperative.

Scotland will continue to push wherever possible for a global effort to tackle the scourge that is the trafficking and exploitation of human beings. We published Scotland's first Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy in 2017 and, in doing so, set out a range of outcomes and actions to tackle this horrific behaviour, subsequently developing and implementing this Strategy through a process of partnership working. We then reviewed this document in 2020 and 2023 and will now look to refresh this Strategy for publication in 2024.

This work seeks to improve how we, across Scotland, identify and support victims in their recovery, identify perpetrators and disrupt their activity, and raise societal and community awareness and address the conditions that foster trafficking and exploitation, alongside work specifically on targeting child trafficking. The upcoming publication of the fifth annual progress report highlights the collective effort of all strategy partners and this Statement supplements that work by focusing on the Scottish Government's internal efforts to prevent slavery and human trafficking.

There is no place for human trafficking and exploitation anywhere in the world and Scotland's public sector should rightly hold itself visibly to account as we look to lead the way.



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