The Council of Europe’s expert group on human trafficking has urged the United Kingdom to take further steps to improve the identification of trafficking victims, to make sure victims receive legal and psychological assistance and to ensure that more traffickers are convicted.
These are among the main proposals for action included in the latest evaluation of the UK’s implementation of the Council of Europe’s anti-trafficking convention, published today by the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).
The report notes that the number of possible victims of trafficking referred to UK’s National Referral Mechanism (NRM) rose from 1,182 in 2012 to 10,613 last year. In 2019, over two-thirds of the potential victims were male and 27% were UK nationals. The number of children referred to the NRM almost quadrupled between 2016 and 2020, rising from 1,279 to 4,946.
The report welcomes the UK authorities’ efforts to establish specialised anti-trafficking bodies and their active involvement in international efforts to tackle human trafficking. It also highlights the “Child House” scheme as a good example of child-friendly justice that should be further developed.