Thursday, February 02, 2012

Blog #3 Sex Trafficking in Scotland: Country Has Failed to Deal With 'Dirty Secret', Says Damning New Report

This article reports on the large human trafficking problem in Scotland  and how The Scottish government and police have done little to combat the problem. Baroness Helena Kennedy, a leading human rights lawyer, submitted a report to the Equality and Human Rights Commission criticizing the Scottish government and police for their lack of effort in doing something about the increasing human trafficking problem in Scotland. The main focus of the report was on "commercial sexual exploitation". The police are criticized for having a large intelligence gap about the problem. It is reported that organized criminals are mostly responsible for the human trafficking problem. Besides sexual exploitation, trafficking victims are being forced to commit criminal acts such as benefits fraud and cannabis cultivation. They are also being exploited on fruit picking farms and in the hospitality industry. According to the report, people are being shipped to Scotland from all over the world and forced into cheap labor. Prostitutes are being sent to Scotland from countries such as Nigeria, Bolivia, and Brazil. Kennedy is pushing for the development more effective strategies, legislation, and multi-agency cooperation  to help combat the problem of human trafficking. Kaliani Lyle, the Equality and Human Rights Scotland Commissioner, commented on how human trafficking operates below the radar and how through fear and deception, it is kept there. Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has said that the inquiry and work undertaken by Baroness Kennedey to expose unacceptable practices which is allowing the problem of human trafficking to continue as it is in Scotland, is welcome by the Scottish government.

I would have never guessed that human trafficking and sexual exploitation would be as serious a problem as it is in Scotland. It just goes to show how naive we all can be concerning this atrocious problem. I find it hard to believe that the police claim to know so little about the problem there. According to the article, those involved in serious organized crime were the ones responsible for most of the problem. Are the police being paid to look the other way? I certainly hope not. This is a serious problem all over the world and cooperation between agencies and countries is vital in combating human/sex trafficking. I was dumbfounded to read in the article that prostitutes from other countries were being sent to Scotland to work. At least the government admits there is a serious problem with trafficking and welcomed the inquiry and suggestions from Baroness Kennedy. It looks like human rights agencies really need to really step up the fight for stronger laws, legislation, and stiffer punishments for those involved in human/sex trafficking. If police and/or government officials are turning a blind eye to the problem, it is going to take more effort and fight from those of us here at the grassroots level.

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