Jenny Marra : Human Trafficking Bill
21 January 2014
Jenny Marra has called on the Scottish Government to listen to the 45,000 voices who have responded to a consultation into her plans for new human trafficking laws.
The consultation into theproposed Human Trafficking (Scotland) Bill has provoked the third highest number of responses since devolution.
The Proposed Human Trafficking (Scotland) Bill was launched in September 2013, where it was supported by Baroness Helena Kennedy, the author of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Inquiry into Human Trafficking in Scotland, and described by world-leading anti-trafficking expert Dr Anne T Gallagher as the most innovative piece of legislation in the world. (*)
Since September, 45,000 responses from Scotland, the UK and the rest of the world have been received in support of the legislation, placing the consultation as the third most highly responded to piece of legislation in the history of devolution, behind only the Smoking in Public Places consultation and the Equal Marriage consultation. (**)
A final proposal is due to be put before parliament in the next few weeks, where 18 MSPs from half the political parties on the Parliamentary Bureau must support the proposal in order for it to progress.
“The fact that 45,000 people have taken the time to tell MSPs that Scotland should have our own human trafficking laws is a powerful message to all MSPs and the Scottish Government that 2014 is the year to tackle this heinous human rights abuse.
“This bill puts forward comprehensive and robust measures to tackle trafficking at its roots in our communities.
"The Scottish Parliament cannot afford to turn its back on these 45,000 voices.
"I hope that the Human Trafficking Scotland Bill will garner cross party support and make good progress through the Parliament this spring.”
Baroness Helena Kennedy said,
“The incredible volume of response received shows the strength of feeling from Scotland, the rest of the UK and across the world that Scotland ought to use the powers it has to legislate against human trafficking.
“The Scottish Government cannot ignore the voices of 45,000 people.
"I urge them to support this Bill and let it progress through parliament.”
(*) Dr Anne T Gallagher is former adviser to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.
Her comments on the Proposed Human Trafficking (Scotland) Bill are carried in this article:
(**)The Smoking in Public Places consultation received 53,474 responses:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2004/12/20381/48206. The Equal Marriage consultation received 77,508: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/07/5671