Human Trafficking offences (R012153)
I refer to your email of the 20th January 2016. As you will be aware there are two main offences which apply to Scotland which are commonly known as ‘human trafficking offences’. Section 22 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 relates to human trafficking for the purposes control over prostitution or the making or production of obscene or indecent material and section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2003 which relates to human trafficking for the purposes of exploitation.
I can confirm that since 2010 there have been eight individuals convicted for these offences in Scotland to date. Four individuals have been convicted for offences under section 22 – sexual exploitation and four individuals have been convicted for offences under section 4 – labour exploitation. All eight individuals have received prison sentences of 18 months or more.
I would highlight a few further points on this. Firstly there will be other offences which may have a link to human trafficking but where individuals have been convicted for other offences, most commonly brothel keeping, sexual offences, Proceeds of Crime offences or being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs. Secondly there will be cases which have been commenced and are currently ongoing.
Additionally as you will be aware the human trafficking offences will be replaced by new offences when the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act is brought in to force in Scotland shortly. The Act will also introduce a statutory aggravation linking other offences such as those mentioned above to human trafficking, meaning that these will be statistically recorded.