Police Scotland and Santa Marta Group host anti-trafficking summit

Gartcosh 3

Leaders from politics, law enforcement and civic society came together yesterday (15 June) to meet at the Police Scotland and Santa Marta Group summit at the Scottish Crime Campus, Glasgow.

Delegates included former Prime Ministers, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown and the Rt. Hon. Theresa May, together with Scottish Justice Secretary Angela Constance, and Commissioner Drew Harris, An Garda Síochána, Police Service of the Republic of Ireland.

They discussed developing moral leadership and refocusing energy on combatting human trafficking as a serious organised crime.

Consensus was reached that there was a need to make a clear distinction between human trafficking and provisions around immigration. Protections for the victims of human trafficking are in danger of being lost with the current focus on immigration legislation. This needs to be addressed as an urgent priority.

There was a shared consensus to use the convening power of Santa Marta Group to maintain momentum and Commissioner Harris committed to hosting the next summit in the Republic of Ireland next year.

At yesterday’s summit, all delegates agreed to keep trafficking high up their organisations’ agendas and priorities.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and Papal lead for the Santa Marta Group said: “This summit has brought into clear relief the need for the evil of trafficking to be seen for what it is. We all need to recognise our own complicity in the choices we make every day but most importantly it is about taking action. If people tell us about a concern or recognise the signs of trafficking, it is essential that this is taken seriously and dealt with quickly.”

Chief Constable of Police Scotland, Sir Iain Livingstone, said: “We are grateful to everyone who came and shared their learning, their experience and their commitment to tackling this horrific criminal exploitation. I thank all delegates for their contribution as, collectively, we seek to combat human trafficking locally, nationally and across the world.”