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Members' Business — S6M-04703 Bill Kidd: Making Scotland Hostile to Trafficking and a Safe Place for Ukrainian Refugees

Thursday 09 June 2022 5:12 PM


That the Parliament welcomes the launch of the Hope for Justice and anti-trafficking partners' website, Ukrainians Welcome, which is aimed at protecting refugees in the UK against modern slavery, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) new recommendations on mitigating the risks of trafficking, following the crisis in Ukraine, as it considers refugees are particularly vulnerable to trafficking for sexual exploitation and other forms of modern slavery; understands that the Scottish Government has committed to criminalising sex buyers, addressing the reported impunity of sex buyers in exploiting vulnerable women and children, and, through criminalisation, making Scotland hostile to human traffickers; considers that Baroness Helena Kennedy QC's report on Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland affirms the understanding of commercial sexual exploitation, including pornography, prostitution and trafficking, as "violence against women and girls"; recognises the OSCE's reported findings that internet searches for Ukrainian women for sale for sexual exploitation has increased by between 200% to 600% across multiple countries in Europe since the Ukrainian refugee crisis started, and that, in the UK, internet searches for Ukrainian women has increased by 669%, compared with March 2021; considers that the criminalisation of sex buyers in Scotland would tackle the demand that fosters trafficking and respond to Palermo protocol commitments; commends the efforts of anti-trafficking organisations, such as International Justice Mission, which presented information to the Cross-Party Group on Human Trafficking on the work that it has been doing to prevent human trafficking occurring at the Romanian-Ukrainian border since the war in Ukraine started, and A21, which it understands is safely housing Ukrainian survivors of sex trafficking and runs trafficking awareness campaigns across Europe; considers that such examples show the success that is possible when authorities and charities work collaboratively to warn refugees of the signs of human traffickers and provide practical assistance to avoid refugees taking up unsafe offers of accommodation or transport; believes that vulnerability to trafficking increases when refugees are in transit or when financial resources reduce over time, and recognises what it sees as the invaluable work of individual sponsors, community groups and local organisations in welcoming refugees to Glasgow and the rest of Scotland, and ensuring that they are provided with the practical and emotional support needed to begin to find refuge and safety as they rebuild their lives.

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