Yesterday I asked the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP, if the Scottish Government’s First Annual Progress Report on Human Trafficking acknowledges the influence of organised crime groups in human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation and what the Scottish Government can do to combat this. I was encouraged to hear that the report recognises this and that this is a key focus of both the Scottish Government and Police Scotland in both enforcement and prevention actions taken forward.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade has released an inquiry report into sex trafficking which has highlighted “industrial scale” sexual exploitation in ‘pop up’ brothels facilitated by online websites.
The report detailed the links between sexual exploitation and organised crime, with the majority of brothels recorded as being connected to other brothels, agencies or non-UK Organised Crime Groups.
The UK’s current laws make it a “highly profitable and low risk” destination for sex traffickers and other third party enablers of sexual exploitation, the report explains.