Human trafficking and exploitation strategy

Our strategy to work with partners to make Scotland a more hostile place for human trafficking.

Section 5: Next Steps and Measuring Progress

Section 35 of the Act requires Scottish Ministers to prepare this Strategy. Section 36 requires the Strategy to be laid before Parliament and to be reviewed within three years from the date of publication.

The Scottish Government will work with partners to develop a national level Action Plan that will sit alongside the Strategy. Partners will also be involved in the development of the delivery and implementation structure for taking the Strategy forward. The Strategy must apply to all victims and to all types of trafficking and exploitation. However, where the evidence supports it, effective implementation will need to recognise the gender profile of particular types of exploitation without marginalising those victims who fall outwith that profile.

There are a number of key Scottish Government policies and guidance documents that already contribute to the arrangements to tackle human trafficking and exploitation and links to these are available on the Scottish Government website.

How will we measure progress?

We have set out the proposed measures below as a way of reporting on progress with the Strategy as a whole. This will be done on an annual basis. The current situation (or the closest approximation currently available) is set out for reference.

Progress on other Strategies such as Equally Safe, Serious Organised Crime Strategy, the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, the Sustainable Development Goals and the National Action Plan on Child Sexual Exploitation will also be relevant, although they are not reflected here.

This will be placed in a narrative context to ensure that measurement reflects the qualitative as well as the quantitative aspect of measurement. Reflecting the voices of victims will be a key element of this narrative.



Current (2016-17)


Identify victims and support them to safety and recovery

Number of potential victims identified.

All victims (adults and children) who enter the NRM and (in due course) those identified through the 'duty to notify' processes.

2016 National Crime Agency statistics (Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit).

150 in total (see page 9 for further breakdown).

Knowing the number of potential victims identified will help us to assess the extent of human trafficking and exploitation in Scotland. We expect this number to increase initially as we raise awareness and more incidents are reported.

However, the long-term trend should be downwards.

The information should also help to assess the profile of human trafficking and exploitation in Scotland and inform prevention efforts.

Number of adult victims provided with support.

Reports from the support provider.

2016-17 - end year reports:

  • TARA -72
  • Migrant Help - 129
  • Total - 201


Voluntarily returned to their country of origin or residence:

  • TARA - 2
  • MH - 6

Transferred into the asylum system:

  • TARA - 30
  • MH - 20

Disengaged from the service:

  • TARA - 1
  • MH 18 (absconded/uncontactable/chose not to engage).

Planned Case closures: [10]

  • TARA - 28
  • MH - 5

We want a coherent support process that enables victims to build resilience. Reports from support provider will provide information on outcomes for victims. Where possible, extracts of these reports will be published.

We also want victims to be aware of the available support and trust it enough to ask for help, so we expect this figure to rise as a proportion of the number of adult victims identified.

Number of trafficked or exploited children supported through the child protection system.

This will be based on the returns already provided to Scottish Government by local authorities.

Scotland has introduced a specific category of trafficking as an indicator of concern within the child protection system in order to better understand the number of children who are at significant risk of or who have been subject to trafficking. As this has only been recently introduced, no useable statistical data is available yet.

We want a coherent support process for children as well as adults. Recognition of trafficking and exploitation within the child protection system will contribute to that. This figure to rise initially as this beds in to the system.

Number of children who are allocated an independent child trafficking guardian ( ICTG).

Number of children who receive the support of an independent child trafficking guardian.

2016 - 78

As part of a coherent support process, for children who do not have a parent or guardian in the UK, Independent Child Trafficking Guardians will contribute along with statutory services to providing the required support.

We expect that this figure will rise as the ICTG process develops.

Identify perpetrators and disrupt their activity

Number of individuals convicted for the offences.

Persons convicted in that year under section 1 and section 4 of the Act and also under earlier legislation (section 22 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act 2004 and section 47 of the Criminal Justice Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010).

1 conviction, under section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc.) Act 2004.

This information will add to the overall picture of identification of perpetrators. However, these are complex crimes, often taking place across borders and even successful convictions may take place outside Scotland. For these and other similar reasons, this data will not be used to measure the effectiveness of awareness raising activity and identification of incidents and perpetrators.

Number of individuals convicted of offences with a human trafficking background.

Convictions using the aggravations set out in sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Act in that year.


This information will add to the overall picture of identification of perpetrators of human trafficking, where prosecution is for a different offence, or where the trafficking was committed against a child or by a public official in the course of their duties.

Number of orders made under Part 4 of the Act.

Orders made in that year using the powers in Part 4 of the Act.

Orders come into force 2017.

These orders are intended to restrict the activity of perpetrators or suspected perpetrators, and will complement the information that will be gathered under the preceding two measures. We expect these to rise as the orders become available and the system becomes established.

Address the conditions that foster trafficking and exploitation

Public awareness of the issue of human trafficking and exploitation.

Questions in face-to-face survey conducted annually.

Survey conducted March 2017. [11]

What do you understand by 'human trafficking':

  • 10% unable to provide any definition of human trafficking

Which activities in Scotland might involve adults who are victims of trafficking? Top mentions (no prompts):

  • Sex industry/prostitution 40%
  • Drugs 40%
  • Manual labour 33%

Which activities in Scotland might involve children who are victims of trafficking? Top mentions (no prompts):

  • Child sexual exploitation/sex industry 59%
  • Drugs 24%
  • Begging 22%
  • Manual labour 22%

Do you believe human trafficking is an issue to a great extent in:

  • The rest of the world (not Europe) 63%
  • Europe 53%
  • UK 30%
  • Scotland 14%
  • My local area 5%

This will help to assess the effectiveness of awareness raising activities undertaken, and to adjust them if need be.

Infrastructure and partnership working

Numbers of statutory bodies that have specific referral mechanisms for human trafficking and exploitation within their organisation and using them.

Self-reporting on an annual basis through the Strategy Implementation Group.

Not yet applicable.

An infrastructure that supports communication and information is essential to delivery of all the other strands of the Strategy. Some bodies will also be subject to the Duty to Notify (section 38 of the Act).

We expect this number to rise initially as we raise awareness but, given that there are a finite number of organisations that fall into this category, that it will plateau and be maintained.

Number of organisations (statutory and non-statutory) within Scotland that have action plans or similar that contribute to delivering the overall aims of the Strategy.

Self-reporting on an annual basis through the Stakeholder Forum arrangement.

Not yet applicable.

The Strategy provides an overall structure, which can be used by organisations to develop their own action plans relevant to their organisations. It will be helpful to reflect how many of these are in place.


Email: Anncris Roberts

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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