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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charity hails law to curb the misery of human trafficking

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Campaigners have said the move will help protect those at risk

A charity has welcomed new legislation which is aimed at curbing human trafficking.

Powers to tackle trafficking suspects in Scotland have come into force this week, which the Scottish Government has said means potential victims will be protected from harm.

Police can now apply to courts for a Trafficking and Exploitation Risk Order when they believe there is a risk someone may commit a trafficking or exploitation offence. This means the suspect is effectively banned from a range of activities, including potential restrictions on movement within the UK or on internet use.

And charity Unseen has said that the move is a step in the right direction.

Justine Currell, executive director of Unseen and the UK-wide Modern Slavery Helpline, said: “These new powers will ensure that the movements or activities of those who pose a significant risk of harm to others are restricted.

“Restrictions will clearly need to reflect the risk identified. I believe tools such as these orders are vital if we are to deter individuals from committing these crimes and provide appropriate protections for those vulnerable to exploitation.”

Justice secretary Michael Matheson said: “The exploitation of people – often those in vulnerable circumstances – is a deplorable act. While this crime is a worldwide problem, people should be under no illusion that it is happening across Scotland, and not just in our cities.”