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Dundee LibDems say the UK should sign up to the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings

November 8, 2006 6:52 AM

Dundee East Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson Dr Clive Sneddon has today (Wednesday 8th November) welcomed the campaign by Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne to combat the third largest source of illegal income after drugs and arms by acting to support as victims of crime those who are trafficked into the UK, and to dismantle the networks of traffickers.

Dr Sneddon said, "It is a disgrace that Tony Blair's New Labour Government has yet to sign and ratify the Council of Europe's 2005 Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings.

"Tony Blair will tolerate the demonisation of legal migrants from the latest EU accession states Romania and Bulgaria by creating ineffective and temporary controls on their employment, while taking no action on trafficking and the enslavement of those trafficked, who work illegally and have little possibility of escaping those who brought them here.

"Practical action needed includes creating a network of safe havens across the UK and Europe, which will provide medical care, counselling and legal aid so that their traffickers can be prosecuted; victims to be helped either to stay in the country they are in or returned home, at their choice; employers, trade unions and the public at large to be encouraged to report all evidence of trafficking to the police and to work together to help the victims; intelligence-led police operations to liberate victims, including those forced into 'brothel prisons', and arrest and charge those responsible for their enslavement.

Dr Sneddon concluded, "This is a clear case where co-ordinated action throughout Europe can make a difference, and where the ability to secure such action is diminished if Tony Blair acts unilaterally and seeks only to grab headlines."

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