Campaign will target organised criminals and support victims
A campaign group is backing a Police Scotland campaign children tackling trafficking and sexual exploitation.
With reports that children as young as 16 are from being forced into prostitution in Scotland, the project aims to help victims while targeting the criminal gangs who makes millions of pounds from vice.
Launched ahead of National Anti-Slavery Day on October 18, the campaign is backed by the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (Tara).
Evidence shows Glasgow has the most cases in Scotland of women and children being “delivered” to clients, many of whom are trafficked and forced into the sex industry against their will.
Bronagh Andrew, operations manager at Tara, said Glasgow has a flourishing off street sex industry that needs halted.
“Wherever you have off street prostitution there will be women trafficked in to meet that demand,” she said.
She added: "It is happening all over. If you have look on some of the websites, you will see it is happening.
"Women will be delivered to people who are paying for sex. A purchaser of sex can book a women and a trafficker will drive her to him.
"I would be very surprised if there was a ward or area in the city where there wasn’t prostitution occurring in a residential premises."
Gillian Macdonald, assistant chief constable of Police Scotland, said: "We are absolutely committed to tackling this trade. The exploitation of women for sexual purposes is completely unacceptable.
"We will target those who control, abuse and exploit others by working collaboratively with partners to ensure that Scotland is and remains a hostile environment to this trade."
Justice secretary Humza Yousaf added: "Human trafficking and exploitation are appalling abuses of human rights, leaving victims highly traumatised and living in fear.
“It is completely unacceptable these crimes are taking place in modern Scotland and we are determined to do all we can to support victims and target perpetrators.”