To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to increase the number of places available in safe accommodation to victims of human trafficking.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Council of Europe Convention on Trafficking which the Government ratified in December last year commits the UK to provision of safe sheltered accommodation for all those trafficked persons who need it.
The Government have consequently invested £4 million into specialist support services for victims of human trafficking over the next two years.
This includes an investment of £3.7 million into the Poppy project to expand and improve the services that are available to victims who have been trafficked into the sex industry and domestic servitude. The additional investment will see an expansion of supported accommodation, with refuge places for victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude in London, Sheffield and Cardiff. The investment will also fund a new national co-ordinator who will help set best practice standards and work with areas to raise awareness with local agencies and funding commissioners. There will also be an increase in advocacy workers to help provide one-to-one tailored support and the community outreach team will also be extended with two link workers based within the UK Human Trafficking Centre to work in partnership with the police, the UK Border Agency and other partners to help with victim identification and onward referral into support.
Additionally, £300,000 is being invested into the UK Human Trafficking Centre to develop flexible support services for victims of labour trafficking.