Thursday, August 26, 2010

Setting the Record Straight

Last week, the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales, and Northern Island issued a report that found that nearly 10% of prostitutes in the UK are victims of human trafficking (that figure jumps to 15% for migrant women.

Release about the report:

The report, called Setting the Record, involved a widespread collaboration between a number of law enforcement agencies, non-government organisations and has been independently academically reviewed. It also has the support of government as providing the most comprehensive estimate of the levels of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

It found that around 17,000 of the estimated 30,000 women involved in off-street prostitution in England and Wales are migrants. Approximately half come from Eastern Europe and a third from Asia. These women were grouped into three categories: those who were trafficked, those who are vulnerable and those who meet neither threshold.

Of the 17,000 migrant women identified, 2,600 were deemed to have been trafficked and a further 9,200 were deemed vulnerable migrants who may be further victims of trafficking. Most of those trafficked (2,200) are from Asia, primarily China.

ACPO lead on migration and associated matters Deputy Chief Constable Chris Eyre said:
“Human trafficking for sexual exploitation involves the most extreme abuse of individuals in our communities.

“We recognise that Project Acumen focuses on only one area of trafficking, but it clearly sets out the scale of the problems that those in law enforcement, victim support, social care and border protection, collectively face.

“It provides us with a more sophisticated and nuanced understanding of how migrant women are involved in prostitution - how they are influenced, controlled, coerced, exploited and trafficked. “The publication of this report represents not the end of a process, but the start. We now have a better picture of the extent of trafficking and will look to support from Government to ensure we work effectively with all agencies to make the UK a more hostile environment for traffickers, to shut down trafficking routes into the UK and to prosecute those who are exploiting women for their own gains.”

Read the full report here.

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