[Stop-traffic] News/UK GOVERNMENT: Victims of international sex trade ...

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/UK GOVERNMENT: Victims of international sex trade ...
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Aug 10 2000 - 10:00:09 EDT

          UK GOVERNMENT: Victims of international sex trade ...

OTC 7/6/00 6:17 PM

JUL 6, 2000, M2 Communications - Women trafficked into the United Kingdom
for the sex trade should get advice and support to help them recover from
their ordeal, the Home Office Minister Barbara Roche said today.
    Mrs Roche said that she was considering ways the Government could help
set up a body to help women who had escaped sexual servitude.
    Speaking at the first conference on women trafficking, Mrs Roche said,
    "At the moment there is no single organisation to help these people deal
with the issues they face. They need help to decide their future, how to
co-operate with the police to bring the traffickers to book and to help
them return safely to their own country. I will be talking to all
interested parties, including the police, in order to see how such an
organisation could be developed.
    "Historically the United Kingdom has not been a major destination for
sex trade trafficking. We now know that this is changing. Research we
commissioned showed that there were 71 known cases in 1998, but also
indicated that this is only the tip of the iceberg. We also know that this
is not just a London problem.
    "Women are being brought here mainly from Eastern Europe , from
countries such as the former Yugoslavia and Albania, and from the Far East,
particularly Thailand. The trade is well organised and very lucrative , in
a recent case, confiscation orders for GBP750,000 of criminal assets were
made against a trafficker. Quite often women do not know what they are
getting into. Some may be told for example they will be working as
entertainers or dancers but then find they are held in appalling
conditions, while they work off the debt they incurred to get to the UK."
              NOTES TO EDITORS
    Mrs Roche will be speaking at the University of North London conference
at the Barbican Centre in London at 1510.
    The University of North London was commissioned by the Home Office to
research trafficking in women. Its research was published in May 2000.
Media copies are available from the Home Office Press Office.
    Members of the public may obtain copies by faxing 020 7271 8344 and
quoting ref: PRS125. It is also available on the website:
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