Trafficking and exploitation strategy: fourth annual progress report - 2020 to 2021

Report setting out progress implementing the Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy from 2020 to 2021.


Minister for Community Safety

Ash Regan MSP

Minister for Community Safety

In 2017, we published Scotland's first Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy and in doing so set out a range of outcomes and actions to tackle this horrific behaviour. The development of the Strategy and subsequent implementation has been delivered through a process of partnership working across all Action Areas and the Child Trafficking Strategy Group. The publication of the fourth annual progress report highlights the collective effort of all Strategy partners.

We published a review of the Strategy last year, in line with our statutory duty, concluding that it remained fit for purpose in the short term and provided an effective framework for continuing improvement. This framework has been key to the progress made during the period of this report, as the challenges presented by COVID-19 have required significant flexibility from all partners in order to maintain support to victims and ensure an appropriate law enforcement approach to existing and emerging risks.

I want to thank all partners involved in delivering the Strategy for the progress they have made during this very difficult period. Some, but not all, of this work is set out within this report. Both Migrant Help and the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance have gone above and beyond to maintain support provision, reacting to changing circumstances and putting in place new operational models at pace in order to prioritise support and assistance. Similarly, Police Scotland responded to the challenges of COVID-19 proactively, delivering regular partner updates to share information, working with businesses to improve their resilience against labour exploitation and continuing to disrupt those who trade in human beings.

Looking forward, we know there is much more we can do to improve victim support pathways and rid Scotland of human trafficking and exploitation. We will look to encourage use of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) toolkit amongst First Responder organisations and use our existing powers to mitigate the influence of wider changes that may affect victims of human trafficking and exploitation.



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