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Bbc Programme Claims 800 Women And Girls Trafficked Into Uk Sex Trade In 2014

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From a fuller story in today's BBC News at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32235112

 

Nearly 800 women and girls working in the sex trade were identified as the victims of human trafficking last year, according to National Crime Agency figures seen by the Victoria Derbyshire programme. 

 

Organisations working with victims, including the Poppy Project, say the figure underestimates the scale of the problem and has been rising sharply in recent years.

 

Interesting wording. I wonder whether "National Crime Agency figures seen by the Victoria Derbyshire programme" means the figures aren't publicly available.
 

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She's using the figures from the National Referral Mechanism. These are publicly available at the national crime agency web-site, although the ECPAT web-site lays them out clearer imv.

 

The NRM stats clearly say that the figure indicates the number of individuals who have been referred as potential victims of human trafficking, and is not a measure of human trafficking in the UK. It hasn't stopped people using the numbers for exactly that purpose though.

 

The numbers are produced quarterly. Taking the Apr-Jun 2014 report it says there were 506 referrals. 128 received a 'positive conclusive decision' and therefore were found to be trafficked according to the report, of whom 38 ( 20 kids and 18 adults ) were victims of being trafficked for sexual exploitation. You can scale the numbers up for a year and get almost any number you want if you assume all cases referred were victims, included the ones where it's not clear or the exploitation type isn't known. Or if you're just lazy and assume over 2000 referrals a year of whom 40% are trafficked for sexual exploitation.

 

Next to consider is the claim that all victims were actually working in the sex trade. The NRM shows the Home Office ( in other words the border agency ) is the biggest responder. I hope this means that some victims never got raped ( did involuntary sex work ) as the border agency stopped them at the port of entry. There have been a number of cases of this.

 

And finally, 'the figure underestimates the scale of the problem' could be said of absolutely any type of reporting process for crime. That Poppy project has the ability to write English but to say things that have no meaning.

 

So trafficking for sex exploitation clearly exists and there are help cards of indicators to assist people to identify it which are ahem interesting to say the least. But it isn't 800 a year. It isn't 150 a year either. Probably somewhere in between. We can help by reporting it when we suspect it.

Edited by bongo
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