Home Affairs Committee Press Notices

No. 21/08 18 January 2008

Human Trafficking: New inquiry

The Home Affairs Committee has today announced a new inquiry into Human trafficking. This will examine progress made by in tackling what the UN refers to as "the modern day version of slavery". The inquiry will cover all forms of trafficking, including people brought illegally into the UK by smuggling gangs to work for little or no money in, for example, the restaurant trade, children used as domestic labour, and women tricked into working in the sex trade.

The primary focus of the inquiry will be on the response by public authorities in the UK and the effectiveness of international co-operation in addressing the problem. In particular, the Committee will consider:

  • Estimating the scale and type of activity;

  • The difficulty of finding those who have been trafficked when they are normally too frightened to complain to the authorities; and the role of NGOs in helping to identify and assist victims;

  • The treatment of those who have been trafficked but have no legal right to remain in the UK, including the requirements imposed by the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Human trafficking;

  • Co-operation within the EU (including Europol); and control of the EU's external frontiers;

  • Relations with transit and source countries, and the role of Interpol and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime;

  • Effectiveness of the co-ordination between public authorities in the UK (Home Office, FCO, police forces, Serious Organised Crime Agency, Border and Immigration Agency, social services).

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

"Human trafficking is comparable to the modern day slave trade. It is vital that we examine the full extent of this problem, who is affected by it, what industry's are involved and what changes need to be made to ensure that it is dealt with affectively."

Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by Friday 8 February 2008. Further advice on making a submission can be found overleaf.


Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format€”not PDF format€”and sent by e-mail to homeaffcom@parliament.uk. The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/witness.cfm.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

Please bear in mind that the Committee is not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.