Legal Opinion on UK Legislation on Human Trafficking
A submission prepared by Oxford Pro Bono Publico for the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ New Inquiry into Human Trafficking (January 2006)
The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) decided in 2005-2006 to conduct an inquiry into the human rights of people trafficked into the United Kingdom. OPBP submitted an opinion to the Committee in January 2006, evaluating the adequacy of UK laws on human trafficking. The opinion analyses the legislation in three relevant areas: prohibition of human trafficking, prevention, investigation, and prosecution and victim protection. To determine its adequacy, the legislation in force in each of these areas is compared to binding and non-binding international instruments.
The analysis points to a lack of coherent policy and law on trafficking in the UK legislation. Especially problematic is the non-existent legislation for protection of victims of trafficking. The recommendation of this opinion is that the UK should either sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings or adopt similar domestic legislation, which would resolve many of the problems that now arise in the UK.