Trafficking and exploitation strategy: second annual progress report

Report setting out progress implementing the trafficking and exploitation strategy in 2018 to 2019.

Cabinet Secretary For Justice

Humza Yousaf MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Justice 

In 2017 we published Scotland’s first Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy setting out a number of actions and outcomes to help achieve our ambitious vision – to eliminate human trafficking and exploitation. The publication of this second annual progress report marks another important milestone in the delivery of the Strategy.

From the time of my appointment as Cabinet Secretary for Justice in June 2018 I have been impressed at the level of commitment and passion from a range of partners to work together, and with the Scottish Government, to identify and support victims to safety and recovery, to disrupt perpetrator activity and to address the conditions that foster trafficking. No single agency can achieve these aims alone and it is vital that we continue to work collaboratively to tackle this abhorrent crime.

I would like to highlight some of the key achievements made over the past year. This is by no means an exhaustive list and this report details other significant progress that has been made over 2018 and early this year. 

Action Area 1 – identify victims and support them to safety and recovery

The Anchor Service, who provide psychological trauma support to adult victims, identified a lack of childcare as a major barrier to adult survivors being able to receive appropriate care and treatment. Funding was increased in 2018 to secure the provision of childcare and this has significantly improved the service available for survivors. This arrangement has been extended into 2019. 

I have approved business plans for the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance and Migrant Help that recognise the need for additional recruitment of staff to support survivors; to raise awareness of trafficking and exploitation including delivery of further training sessions; and to provide tailored support services, such as a legal drop in clinic.

Action Area 2 – identify perpetrators and disrupt their activity 

Police Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the Courts continue to work together to investigate, prosecute and sentence those responsible for these crimes using all available powers to them. Serious Crime Prevention Orders were imposed on individuals involved in serious and organised crime and who were convicted of the recruitment, transport and exploitation of vulnerable men from Latvia to Scotland.

Action Area 3 – address the conditions that foster trafficking and exploitation 

In October 2018, we published Guidance for Businesses in Scotland. This guidance provides tailored advice for larger and smaller businesses in respect of transparency in supply chains and how to identify and mitigate any risks their supply chains may be vulnerable to. 


Joint workshops led by the national Child Sexual Exploitation Group have been delivered across Scotland in relation to the Child Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking joint agenda. The workshops provided an overview of national developments in relation to both child sexual exploitation and child trafficking and encouraged areas to discuss implementation at a local level, share learning and discuss what action can be delivered locally to improve our response to children and young people at risk of harm.

Looking Forward 

We are legally committed to review the Strategy every 3 years and work on this will begin over the summer. However in the meantime I strongly encourage all partners to continue to build on the excellent progress already made to meet all the actions and outcomes contained in the Strategy. 



Back to top