For those who carefully consider and monitor the subject of trafficking, Ross Kemp’s Extreme World episode on trafficking[1], whilst interesting, did not provide anything new on the plight of victims and the number of women trafficked into the United Kingdom However it did again remind viewers, who are not so aware, that there is a problem and one that does occur on domestic home ground. It also showed (again) the callousness of the traffickers in respect of their victims and their confused view of the madonna/whore dichotomy.

I always applaud persons who strive to bring the subject to the public conscious and therefore was pleased that Ross Kemp had tackled this issue so boldly and today I also applaud the government for finally making the decision that they intend to opt in to the European Union Directive in Human Trafficking, subject to the approval of both houses relevant scrutiny committee. The written statement below was provided today.

E.R Tuesday, 22nd March 2011


EU Directive on Human Trafficking

The Minister of State for Immigration (Damian Green): I am writing today to the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committees in both Houses, seeking their views on the Government’s intention to apply to opt in to the EU Directive to combat Human Trafficking upon its adoption. The Government’s view remains subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

In June, the Government took the decision not to opt in at the outset to the proposal for a Directive to combat Human Trafficking but undertook to review the position when there was a finalised text. We have now carefully considered the finalised text. The main risk associated with the text has now been overcome: by waiting to apply to opt in, we have a text that has been finalised and we have avoided being bound by measures that are against the UK’s interests.

The new text still does not contain any measures that would significantly change the way the UK fights trafficking. However, the UK has always been a world leader in fighting trafficking and has a strong international reputation in this field. Applying to opt in to the Directive would continue to send a powerful message to traffickers that the UK is not a soft touch, and that we are supportive of international efforts to tackle this crime.

This is a potent message, especially given the Olympic Games in 2012 and the view that this already has and will attract more trafficked women.  I await to see the measures that will be implemented but this is certainly a positive decision.

[1] Ross Kemp:Extreme World  – Monday 21 March 2011, 9.00pm