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Human trafficking is a subject of growing concern, both internationally and domestically. There are some difficulties of definition, as various different terms are used inconsistently, and it is also very difficult to get a clear idea of the numbers of people involved in human trafficking. Despite this, there have been various international agreements, studies and campaigns to address the problem. Various legislative and other policies have been put in place, including new trafficking offences and the creation of a UK Human Trafficking Centre.

The Government announced in August 2013 that it would introduce a Modern Slavery Bill, to be published this year in draft form for pre-legislative scrutiny. The bill will consolidate into one act the offences used to prosecute slave drivers, introduce Trafficking Prevention Orders to restrict the activity and movement of convicted traffickers and provide for a new Anti-Slavery Commissioner to hold law enforcement and other organisations to account. The draft Bill was published as part of a white paper on 16 December 2013 and is discussed separately in Library Standard Note 6792 Draft Modern Slavery Bill.

This note looks at the UK’s responses to human trafficking, including the Government’s strategy against trafficking and implementation of the Council of Europe Convention against trafficking and a related Directive.

Library Standard Note SN/HA/3753 looks at the international responses to trafficking.

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