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Tackling human trafficking 25/02/2016 A new law allowing life sentences for traffickers will come into effect on 31st May 2016

Tackling human trafficking

A new law allowing life sentences for traffickers will come into effect on 31st May 2016. The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 will strengthen Scotland’s efforts to tackle trafficking and also guarantee support for victims.

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, today laid an Order in the Scottish Parliament setting out the date for introduction of the new single offence of human trafficking and also a new offence of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.

From 31st May, police and the courts will have new powers to confiscate and seize property used for human trafficking. The Act also allows the courts to impose longer sentences for other crimes which involve trafficking, or where trafficking is committed by a public official, or the victim is a child.

From 31st May, there will also be a requirement for the Lord Advocate to issue instructions about the factors prosecutors must consider before deciding whether to prosecute a person who may have been compelled to carry out a crime as a victim of human trafficking.

Other measures introduced by the Act, relating to supports for victims, including child victims, are being developed and will be laid in due course.

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