Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

24 January 2007

UK to sign Council of Europe trafficking convention

UK to sign Council of Europe trafficking convention
On the eve of the bi-centennial of the legal abolition of slavery in the UK, Prime Minister Tony Blair announced this week (22 Jan) the UK government's intention to sign the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (European Convention against Trafficking).

Amnesty International (AI) welcomes this news as the Convention requires states that are party to it to take a number of steps to enhance respect for and protection of the human rights of trafficked persons. AI is campaigning for ratification without delay in the UK and other Council of Europe member states; the treaty will enter into force when 10 countries have ratified.

AI is campaigning to see this happen by the end of this year - so far three countries (Austria, Moldova and Romania) have ratified the Convention and 31 states have signed it.

UK Home Office research, due to be published this year, suggests that, at any one time during 2003, there were in the region of 4,000 victims of trafficking for forced prostitution -- one of several forms of trafficking in the UK. The UK not only signing, but also ratifying and implementing the European Convention, will help ensure that victims of this pernicious trade in people are identified as such and receive some assistance and protection when they escape or are "rescued" in the UK.

AI continues to urge the UK and other states to take advice from those with experience in providing assistance and support to trafficked persons when it comes to developing measures to implement the Convention.


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