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Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015

The Act

3.The Act’s overarching objective is to consolidate and strengthen the existing criminal law against human trafficking and exploitation and enhance the status of and support for its victims. The Act will also give Ministers power, by regulations, to specify relevant authorities to work with the Scottish Government to develop and implement a Scottish trafficking and exploitation strategy.

4.The Act will consolidate and clarify existing trafficking offences into one single offence. Current domestic criminal law against human trafficking in Scotland sits in a number of different Acts—

  • Section 22 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003(1) (“2003 Act”) criminalises arranging or facilitating a person’s travel for the purposes of prostitution and involvement in the making or production of indecent materials;

  • Section 4 and 5 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004(2) (“2004 Act”) criminalises arranging or facilitating a person’s travel for the purposes of other forms of exploitation;

  • Section 46 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010(3) (“2010 Act”) amends the provisions in the 2003 and 2004 Acts, for example to create an offence under both for someone who arranges or facilitates travel into, within or out of a country other than the UK.

5.A more detailed explanation of the Act’s purpose can be found in the Policy Memorandum, which also explains the thinking and policy intentions that underpin it.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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