On Anti-Slavery Day, Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, urged individuals and organisations to respond to a consultation on the proposed Human Trafficking (Scotland) Bill which would introduce the most comprehensive legislation in the world to combat modern day slavery.
In March, Dame Anne jointly hosted an event raising awareness among professionals and individuals in the North East of the signs of human trafficking. Following on from this, she added her support to the proposals which have been put forward in the Scottish Parliament by Jenny Marra MSP.
The Bill would introduce wide ranging changes to the current response to human trafficking in Scotland by introducing a proper definition into Scots law, making it illegal to criminalise victims of trafficking in our courts, and creating a dedicated survivors’ service for victims.
Dame Anne said: “Men, women and children of all nationalities are victims of modern day slavery and it is happening right now in Aberdeen.
“Victims are often terrified of the authorities, fear deportation, face language barriers, and are very much hidden in our society. That’s why it is vital that everyone is alert to the signals of trafficking and campaigns such as Anti-Slavery Day help to achieve this.
“The Bill being proposed by Jenny Marra would not only protect these victims but would make it clear that Scotland is a no-go area for traffickers and I would encourage everyone to submit responses to the consultation to ensure that this Bill has the opportunity to progress through Holyrood.”
The consultation is open until 6th December and the document can be downloaded at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/gettinginvolved/67134.aspx. Responses can be based on questions within the document, although additional comments are welcome, and should be sent direct to Jenny Marra MSP at Room MG.14, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP.