Human Trafficking in the UK

12 SEP 2006

Nadine Finch and Sam Momtaz, Barristers, Garden Court Chambers, London. In 1807, Parliament passed the Slave Trade Act, abolishing slavery in the former British Empire. Yet nearly 200 years later slavery remains not only a global problem but also a feature of contemporary life in the UK. On 2 January 2002, a letter was published in The Times from Singer J. In it he expressed concern about the low level of public awareness of, and the apparent absence of political will to respond to, the burgeoning phenomenon of women and children being trafficked to and through the UK, to be held captive and forced to work as prostitutes.

The question for all lawyers, and perhaps family lawyers in particular, to contemplate is, 4 years on, are we any closer to eradicating this heinous practice? This article aims to:

  1. consider the scale of the problem and what we mean by trafficking;
  2. consider two recent international legal instruments drafted to combat trafficking;
  3. discuss the government's recent consultation paper on the subject;
  4. propose what needs to be done to fight this global phenomenon effectively.

See September [2006] International Family Law 155 for the full article.

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