Tories support EU anti-trafficking measures!

// 3 January 2007

Here’s an unusual story. The Conservative party has given its backing to a proposal which would see victims of trafficking given the right to stay in the UK for 30 days while they decide whether or not to help the police.

As the Times reports, this is something of a u-turn for the party, which had said that the European Convention on Action Against Human Trafficking would encourage immigration.

The government refuses to sign the convention. I never thought I’d be quoting shadow home secretary David Davies in a good way, but there is a first time for everything:

Mr Davis said: “There is something the Government should do tomorrow and that is sign the European convention against trafficking. The Government has avoided doing this – I don’t really understand why.

“I do not believe that by giving civilised treatment to the victims of this trade – allowing 30 days’ reflection whilst they are ready to go and become witnesses – that that will actually be a pull factor. Just the reverse.”

The party even cited the work of the wonderful Poppy Project, which provides shelter and counseling to a tiny number of the thousands of women forced into sexual slavery.

Mr Davis said other measures include a helpline for victims and increasing the number of safe houses for people rescued from trafficking, especially children. He also repeated his party’s intention to create a new border police force to reduce the number of people entering the UK illegally.


Amnesty International’s campaign director in the UK said:

The Conservative Party’s support indicates once again that human

trafficking is a serious human rights issue requiring urgent attention –

and that the European Convention is a good way of ensuring victims of this

nasty trade are protected.

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