Town’s human trafficking shame revealed

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Falkirk has been included on a map of locations where victims of human trafficking have been identified.

For the first time, the 27 locations of where trafficking has taken place over the last five years have been pinpointed in an effort to challenge perceptions the crime is confined to Scotland’s major towns and cities.

Human trafficking is a complex crime which involves adults and children being traded and exploited for personal benefit. It is an abuse of human rights which causes victims lasting physical and psychological damage.

Trafficking can involve victims being sexually exploited or forced into the role of a servant, or trapped in forced labour, with nail bars, car washes and construction amongst the industries where potential cases in Scotland have been reported.

The recently published Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy showed that 54 per cent of people in Scotland do not believe it is an issue in their local area. However, the identified locations include 272 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities – including Falkirk.

Justice minister and Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “Human trafficking is an appalling abuse of human rights. This horrific crime affects the most vulnerable in society.

“Generating awareness the exploitation of adults and children is happening in Scotland today is key to bringing it to an end. No one should ever be bought or sold.”

Visit www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/scotland for more information.