Monday, 14 March 2011

Child Sex Trafficking in Scotland – a ‘national scandal’

Today’s report from Tam Baillie, the Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People, must be a wake up call to everyone in Scotland.

The fact that dozens of children are being used as sex slaves in our cities, towns and neighbourhoods is utterly repugnant. This should be a call to action for everyone in Scotland. How can we let this happen?

The report calls on the UK Government to encourage more inter-agency co-operation, appointing an independent child trafficking rapporteur and to ratify without delay the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

It asks that the Scottish Government acts to lead the efforts of local authorities to combat child trafficking, including providing proper funding for the investigation of suspected child-trafficking. And if the UK Government does not appoint a UK rapporteur on the issue, then the Scottish Government should appoint a rapporteur for Scotland, accountable to the Scottish Parliament.

This issue is one that the Church of Scotland Guild has been concerned about for some time.  Last year they brought an ACTS-produced report on trafficking to the General Assembly.

I intend to write to the Home Secretary in the UK Governement and the Justice Secretary in the Scottish Government asking that they urgently take action on these recommendations.

Can I ask you to write to your MP and MSPs as well? This story should create an outcry. Please speak up on behalf of those whose voices have been silenced.

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