Originally posted on BBC News on October 17, 2014—
“Top prosecutors from across the UK and Ireland have pledged to work together to tackle human trafficking, described by one as “the slavery of our times”.
The heads of prosecution services in Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland met amid a rise in reported cases.
The UK and Scottish governments were also represented at the summit, held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
There was also a focus on identifying the signs of human trafficking.
In September the National Crime Agency said the number of potential victims of human trafficking in the UK increased by 22% between 2012 and 2013, with 55 cases identified in Scotland.
Across the UK, it is estimated that 2,744 people, including 602 children, were potential victims of trafficking last year.
Almost a third of the victims in Scotland suffered sexual exploitation, while others experienced labour exploitation and criminal exploitation.
The agency said victims came from countries including Poland, Slovakia, Thailand, Vietnam, Ghana and Nigeria.
Romania was the most common country of origin, with nine cases in Scotland.
Scotland’s senior prosecutor, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, who chaired the summit, said: “Human trafficking is the slavery of our times.”
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