The Scottish Government has published a consultation on plans to overhaul Scotland's system for the investigation and prosecution of crime. Proposals include the removal of the requirement for corroboration and reform of arrest and detention....
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Amnesty International has recently been giving evidence on human trafficking to the Scottish Parliament's Equal Opportunities Committee, in which it raises concerns about the lack of prosecutions for human trafficking in Scotland.
Shabnum Mustapha, Programme Director for Amnesty in Scotland, said:
"There have been 150 convictions for trafficking offences in England and Wales, but only one successful prosecution in Scotland. Prosecutions for lesser offences, whilst potentially easier to prove, carry lesser punishments, and make it impossible to know the scale and nature of trafficking here. Whilst we welcome the Scottish Government's consideration of a statutory human trafficking criminal aggravation, there should be more efforts to pursue full prosecutions as in England and Wales.
"The Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee’s own report into Trafficking and Migration, published in 2010, recommended that a Scottish referral mechanism be set up which places the welfare of the potentially trafficked individual above all else.
“We were disappointed that this recommendation was not taken up and would urge the Scottish Government to lead the way in tackling this form of modern-day slavery and adopt the Committee’s recommendation. We need to ensure that traffickers are pursued vigorously and that it is the welfare of the victim which is the primary concern. We also need to ensure that individuals showing signs of being trafficked are identified early and given the support they need.”
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