Speaking at a joint FCO and Home Office event on human trafficking last night, he outlined work the government is undertaking to tackle this crime, both in the UK and overseas.
- work with embassies and high commissions of key source countries
- collaboration between the Metropolitan Police, the Romanian National Police and the Romanian Embassy to share intelligence
- work by Border Force officials to identify victims
- victim care under a contract run by the Salvation Army
The Minister alongside Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Hugo Swire and representatives from the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Metropolitan Police, the NSPCC and the Salvation Army about improving prevention and prosecution of traffickers and victim aftercare.
A strong and robust approach to human trafficking
Mark Harper said: ‘Human trafficking is an atrocious crime that requires a strong and robust approach, both from within the UK and internationally.
‘The government will continue to identify what further we can do to stop people from becoming victims in the first place and, if they do, how we can best support them to recover and recuperate from their terrible ordeal.
‘Our aim is to build on our collective efforts with international partners so far to continue to support victims and to identify and punish perpetrators.’
Human trafficking is a transnational crime
Hugo Swire called for greater international cooperation to tackle human trafficking. He said: ‘Governments have a moral duty to take action, and take action together.
‘We cannot effectively tackle the problem in isolation. It is a transnational crime, and it requires a transnational response. We are working internationally on prevention through education and alleviating poverty, strengthening our borders and greater protection for victims.’
The top five countries for trafficking, based on potential victims referred through the UK’s victim care system, are Nigeria, Vietnam, Romania, China and Slovakia.
The top ten countries accounted for more than 64% of all referrals in 2011.