Efforts to tackle Commonwealth trafficking gets UK aid boost

18 Apr 18

Commonwealth countries are to increase efforts to stamp out human trafficking and child exploitation.

The UK has committed a further £5.5m of aid towards these goals to coincide with this week’s Commonwealth heads of government meeting in London.

Under the ‘call to action to end forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking’, United National specialists determine where child labour is taking place, and so where work should be directed to stop this including by taking action against businesses and supply chains.

The UK will also work in Commonwealth countries to build the capacity of police forces and prosecutors to deal with human trafficking and increase the number of convictions.  

International development secretary Penny Mordaunt, said: “The UK and the Commonwealth are stepping up to fight one of the greatest injustices of our time – the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable people by predators.   

“UK aid is helping to stamp out these evil practices, by smashing the traffickers’ exploitative business model, helping to punish the perpetrators and supporting vulnerable people and victims - who are all too often women and children - to rebuild their lives so they do not fall back into a cycle of abuse.”

More than 50 countries have now endorsed the ‘call to action’, including over one third of the Commonwealth’s 53 members.

The Department for International Development said forced labour and trafficking affected an estimated 40 million people with women and girls particularly vulnerable and constituting 71% of victims.

Within the £5.5m aid package there will be £3m to support Commonwealth governments to better identify and act on child labour, £2m to strengthen law enforcement and £500,000 to support new anti-trafficking legislation in Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda, Bangladesh, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, and Sri Lanka.

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