Human Trafficking In Scotland And Importance Of Not Charging Victims As If They Hadn't Been Trafficked
From the BBC:
[Amnesty International UK director, Kate Allen] said Amnesty was concerned victims of trafficking in Scotland were not being properly identified. "Without acceptance of their status, they cannot access appropriate services or help police with their inquiries," she said.
"The fight against trafficking has been very much police-led in the UK, but we know that many victims of trafficking will never disclose their situation to a police officer because they fear shame, deportation or reprisals from their traffickers."
The report called on the Scottish Government to extend the support provided to women trafficked into sexual exploitation to other forms of trafficking.
It also called on Scots ministers to work with the Crown Office to ensure that trafficking victims were not prosecuted for crimes, such as using false travel documents, committed as part of their ordeal.
All the effort which is put into stopping human traffickers is undermined when victims of those traffickers are prosecuted. If the government wants those who are trafficked to cooperate with investigations of traffickers then the government needs to demonstrate that the system is trustworthy.
If someone is freed from one enslaver only to be wrongly imprisoned or otherwise mistreated that doesn't inspire confidence. We can't afford to have those who are supposed to help seem less sympathetic and less fair than human traffickers.
Traffickers will use any misidentification or mistreatment as a weapon to keep those they trafficked in line.