Human trafficking (Scotland) - consultation response

In September 2019, RCPCH Scotland's Chair of the Child Protection Subcommittee responded to the Scottish Government Consultation on section 38 of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015, focusing on the duty to notify aspect.

The policy intent of this consultation on Section 38 of the Act is to allow for the collation and processing of wider information about trafficking activity in Scotland not currently collected through other means. This would, therefore give a more accurate picture of the scale and extent of trafficking in Scotland, and enable more effective targeting of enforcement and provision of support services. 

Our response

  • All those involved in the care of children and young people have a duty to protect and support vulnerable children.
  • Human trafficking is a form of child abuse and as a result all professionals should follow existing child protection procedures.

Our recommendations

  • Interagency Referral Discussion (IRD), based on information sharing principles, where each agency (police, social work and healthcare professionals) meets to support the assessment of whether a child under 18 years is at risk of or suffering harm, should be included in the duty to notify procedure.
  • The process for identification and reporting child human trafficking should be closely aligned to existing child protection procedure.
  • Guidance published alongside the bill should include a link to the RCPCH refugee and unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people guidance.

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented. Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting the Scotland Team: enquiries-scotland@rcpch.ac.uk.