COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Anti-slavery charity lobbies for services for slavery victims

Anti-slavery International is using the first anniversary of a slave ship docking in West Africa to raise awareness of the global problem of human trafficking.

A year ago, 40 children were found on board the ship Etireno when it docked in Benin.

The charity is lobbying the House of Lords in an attempt to get amendments to a White Paper on trafficking. Kaye said: "We want to widen out the criminal offence so it applies to bonded labour, and we also need protection and support for the victims."

The bill, Secure Borders and Safe Havens, is due to become law within this Parliament. For the first time, traffickers will be prosecuted, but only for trafficking someone into prostitution.

The bill will not prevent illegal trafficking in people unless it provides more support for victims, argued Mike Kaye, campaigns officer at Anti-slavery International. "You can't combat trafficking without the co-operation of the victims. And you can't have that without support services for them,

he said.

Trafficking affects 700,000 people a year, claimed the charity.

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