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Sexual Offences Act 2003

Section 57: Trafficking into the UK for sexual exploitation

104.Section 57 makes it an offence for a person (A) intentionally to arrange or facilitate the arrival into the UK of a person (B), where A intends to do anything that would result in the commission of a relevant offence involving B, or believes that another person is likely to do something to, or in respect of, B that would result in the commission of a relevant offence involving B. In both cases, the relevant offence must take place after B’s arrival in the UK but may take place anywhere in the world. “Relevant offence” is defined at subsection (1) of section 60.

105.This section re-enacts with amendments the offence in section 145 of the Nationality, Asylum and Immigration Act 2002.

106.A may intend the relevant offence to be committed, or believe that it is likely to be committed, in any part of the world. This is to ensure that an offence will be committed where, for example, A traffics B into the UK as an interim destination but intends to traffic B on to another country so he can be subjected to a sexual offence there.

107.A may intend to commit the relevant offence himself, or believe that another person will do so. So for example, it will be an offence for A to make arrangements to bring B into the UK believing that C will then, for gain, force B into prostitution in Germany (causing prostitution for gain will be a relevant offence). It is A’s belief that is important, so the offence would still be committed if C never actually caused B to work as a prostitute.

108.A will only commit the offence if he intends that B should be the victim of an offence committed by A, or believes that B will be the victim of an offence committed by C. This will ensure that airline companies, road hauliers etc who are transporting someone without any such intent or belief are not captured. The offence is intended, however, to cover A if he is part of the enterprise of trafficking for sexual exploitation even if he is one link in a chain of people helping to traffic B. Provided A has the necessary intent or belief, the section will cover, for example, his recruiting B in B’s country of origin, his making arrangements for transport and food for B’s journey, his forging of immigration documents for B and his other involvement in bringing B to the UK.

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