Trafficking in human beings is an abhorrent evil practice which has no place in a civilised society. Tackling trafficking is a joint responsibility between the Scottish Government, the UK Government, the police, local authorities and support agencies. The Scottish Government is committted to working in partnership to eradicate it in Scotland.
The Cabinet Secretary for Justice sits on the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group which has overall responsibility for oversight of the UK's approach to tackling human trafficking, including the UK Government's Human Trafficking Strategy where it touches on devolved matters and the UK's compliancve wiwth EU and international requirements. Scottish Government officials sit on the Human Trafficking Strategy Board that reports to the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group.
The Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group published its first annual report on 18 October 2012 Report on Trafficking. This provides an assessment of human trafficking in the UK and the UK’s response towards combating the crime.
The Scottish Government is bound by the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings. The UK Government as the Member State has decided to opt into the European Union Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA. This Directive builds on the Council of Europe Convention and takes a victim centred approach, including a gender perspective, to cover actions in different areas such as criminal law provisions, prosecution of offenders, victims' support and victims' rights in criminal proceedings, and will replace the 2002 Framework Decision on Trafficking, which originally established the rules under which Member States had to legislate for human trafficking.