Modern slavery victims urged to share views on Scottish Government measures

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Human trafficking victims have been urged to share their views on the Scottish Government's strategy to combat the crime.

Community safety minister Ash Denham has announced a review, which was legislated when the strategy was first published in May 2017, in a bid to ensure it will be effective in battling human trafficking beyond 2020.

Community safety minister Ash Denham has announced a review. Picture: Scottish Parliament

Community safety minister Ash Denham has announced a review. Picture: Scottish Parliament

An online survey has opened and support agencies and victims have been urged to make their voices heard before it closes on November 30.

READ MORE: Scotland’s health staff to receive training to identify human trafficking victims

Speaking at an event in Edinburgh to mark Anti-Slavery Day on Friday, Ms Denham said: "I urge victims, survivors, support organisations and key partners in delivery of the strategy to share their views and help shape our approach.

"Your feedback will help us evaluate the work so far and ensure the Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy remains fit for purpose beyond 2020.

READ MORE: Slavery is real and happening now in every country – Andrew Bevan

"Human trafficking is often closer than we think.

"Victims often fear their traffickers, have distrust of the authorities and lack awareness that there are agencies that can support them to safety and recovery.

"It is vital that we ensure a collaborative and robust approach to tackling human trafficking, and I welcome the resources Cosla and NHS have published for their staff, which give public sector employees tools to spot the signs of trafficking and report it when they encounter it, enabling a swift and intelligent response to support victims."

The Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy increased the maximum penalty for people convicted of human trafficking as well as consolidating all former trafficking offences into one.

The news comes a day after the Scottish Government published guidance for local authority staff on how to spot the signs of trafficking.