The GLAA in Scotland
The GLAA is a national enforcement agency whose role is to protect workers from labour exploitation. Our licensing scheme regulates businesses who provide workers to the fresh produce supply chain and horticulture industry, to make sure they meet the employment standards required by law.
It is an offence to operate in these sectors without a licence. It is also an offence to use workers in these sectors who are supplied by an unlicensed business.
We investigate reports of unlicensed trading, worker exploitation and illegal labour provision, as well as offences under the National Minimum Wage and Employment Agencies Acts.
However, the way in which we operate and the partners we work with vary slightly in Scotland.
In England and Wales, the GLAA has responsibilities to investigate reports of Modern Slavery. In Scotland, the primacy for this lies with Police Scotland but the GLAA support this activity to target, dismantle and disrupt serious and organised crime.
GLAA Partners in Scotland
Eliminating all forms of trafficking and exploitation and protecting people from harm continues to be one of Police Scotland’s top priorities. Engaging with victims and partner agencies including the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority is key to developing our understanding of and response to emerging threats. We learn from their experiences and develop our approach and tactics to reduce re-victimisation, prevent more people becoming victims and to target those who exploit them.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings, both adults and children, for the purpose of commercial exploitation. Victims of human trafficking are often the most vulnerable members of a community however, there is no such thing as a typical victim.
Victims are also known to come from a number of continents such as Asia, Africa and Europe. They may arrive in your community after being kidnapped, smuggled or tricked by a friend offering a job and the opportunity of a new life, however soon discover that their lives are not their own and are forced into a life of exploitation with no way of escaping.
Trafficking victims are often forced into exploitative labour to pay back the debt that traffickers claim they owe them for travel, accommodation, recruitment fees, food, etc. Victims are trapped in this life with limited freedom or options. They regularly have their identity documents removed and are often subjected to physical and mental abuse, poor working conditions and a lack of health and safety precautions.
Human trafficking exists in communities across Scotland and can also involve people who are resident legally in the country. The illegal industry of trafficking people has become so sophisticated that it often goes unnoticed and assistance from the public is crucial to identify potential signs of human trafficking within your community. You can report any concerns to the police about yourself or another person on 101 or if someone is in immediate danger, then dial 999.
Information on human trafficking
More information on human trafficking including how to spot the signs can be found at Police Scotland’s website: https://www.scotland.police.uk/
You do not have to report concerns to the police - you can pass on information anonymously to the independent charities Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the UK Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.
Working with the GLAA, partners, workers, businesses and the public Police Scotland will continue to pursue those who perpetrate the crimes of human trafficking and exploit other human beings for profit or benefit. Together we can break the chain.
The Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act was unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2015. The Act introduced a single offence for all kinds of trafficking for the first time. It raised the maximum penalty for trafficking to life imprisonment and gives police and prosecutors new tools to prevent and detect trafficking and bring those responsible to justice.
One of the requirements of the Act was for the Scottish Government to prepare a Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy and lay it before Parliament. The Strategy was published in May 2017 with a vision to eliminate human trafficking and exploitation. In order to achieve this, it sets out three action areas:
- Action Area 1 - identify victims and support them to safety and recovery;
- Action Area 2 - identify perpetrators and disrupt their activity; and
- Action Area 3 - address the conditions, both local and global, that foster trafficking and exploitation.
- A further strand of activity relates to child trafficking.
Since publication of the Strategy, a significant amount of work has been undertaken and more information on this can be found within the annual progress reports https://www.gov.scot/policies/human-trafficking/.
Further information about human trafficking can be found via the link below:
Guidance for businesses
Guidance for businesses around supply chain risks/slavery and human trafficking statements can be found via the following link:
Human trafficking: resources - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) (posters/information leaflets)
Human trafficking: Support for victims of human trafficking - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) and Human trafficking and exploitation (Scotland) act 2015: March 2018 circular - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) (information on support for victims of trafficking in Scotland)
Migrant Help’s Victims of Slavery Support Service assists adult survivors of human trafficking across Scotland.
We hold the contract with the Scottish Government to provide support to all adult victims, except female victims of commercial sexual exploitation (supported by TARA), who have chosen to enter the National Referral Mechanism.
This means that we work with victims of labour exploitation, criminal exploitation, domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation (males only), and non-commercial sexual exploitation (males and females) across Scotland. We also support any victim of organ harvesting.
Once a client enters our service, they will work closely with a dedicated adviser, and will benefit from a tailored package of support. A non-exhaustive list of some of the assistance on offer includes:
- Provision of temporary secure accommodation
- Linking to medical advice and treatment
- Linking to counselling and trauma support
- Linking to expert legal advice, including advice on immigration and compensation, and assistance with navigating criminal proceedings
- Day-to-day living assistance
- Financial support
- Interpreting and translation services
- Repatriation assistance if required
- Information and signposting to other relevant services
If you would like to get in contact with us, please use one of the following routes:
Office: 0141 884 7900 (Mon-Thurs 9-5, Friday 9-4:30)
Out of hours (emergencies only): 0141 212 8553
TARA - Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance
The TARA Service are funded by the Scottish Government to provide trauma informed support to women, over 18 years, where there are indicators of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and they are identified in Scotland.
We can be contacted 24/7 and work with women for around 12 -18 months dependant on their needs. We can assist women to quickly access safe crisis accommodation, health services, legal advice, psychological assessment and treatment and can act as a First Responder to the National Referral Mechanism. Our ongoing advocacy on behalf of women enables them to access mainstream supports whilst aiming to promote their independence and recovery through a rights based approach. The TARA Service promote partnership working wherever possible and can provide awareness raising or training events to improve knowledge of human trafficking and identification of survivors.
TARA Contact details:
Tel: 0141 276 7724 (24/7)
Email: commsafetyTARA@glasgow.gov.uk (monitored during office hours only)
Border Force - Scotland
The Safeguarding and Modern Slavery Team at Glasgow Airport comprises a senior officer, two HOs (Higher Officers) and 12 officers.
Our remit covers a wide variety of safeguarding work, including human trafficking, modern slavery, FGM, forced marriage, honour based abuse and child sexual abuse and exploitation, working to increase awareness in these areas.
We cover ports and sea ports in the region, which includes tackling the problem of labour exploitation within the fishing industry, car washes, food production, hospitality and farming.
We work alongside our national team, but work closely with partners and stakeholders also, identifying and dealing with organised crime groups behind human trafficking and modern slavery.
We strive to work to put systems in placed to protect the vulnerable and those vulnerable to exploitation and work with devolved Government to contribute and shape policy in these areas.
Scotland Against Modern Slavery - SAMS
Scotland Against Modern Slavery exists to help eradicate the atrocity of human trafficking and raise awareness across the Scottish business community of this evil trade. Many food and drink manufactures, construction firms and logistics businesses have joined in order to share good practice, work with the government and support victims on their journey to become survivors.
Worker Support Centre
The Worker Support Centre (WSC) is a new service hosted by JustRight Scotland (JRS) for workers on the Seasonal Worker visa in Scotland. Funded by the Scottish Government, the WSC provides information and support through our outreach support workers, project advisor and our legal team. The centre has two part-time outreach support workers who are themselves former seasonal horticultural workers who speak Ukrainian, Russian and Lithuanian. These support workers are the first point of contact for seasonal workers and engage directly with them to help them navigate a range of issues.
The WSC can be contacted via the following means:
Freephone: 0800 0581633 (Monday to Wednesday from 5pm to 8pm / Thursday to Saturday 10am to 4pm)
In addition there is a programme of outreach and I attach the calendar for August.
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) is Scotland’s prosecution service. We receive reports about crimes from the police and other reporting agencies and then decide what action to take, including whether to prosecute someone. The published Prosecution Code sets out the test that prosecutors apply when deciding what action is appropriate in response to a report alleging criminality. COPFS also examines the circumstances of deaths that need further explanation and investigate allegations of criminal conduct against police officers. COPFS plays a pivotal part in the justice system, working with others to make Scotland safe from crime, disorder and danger. The public interest is at the heart of all we do as independent prosecutors.
Access to healthcare on the Seasonal Worker visa
Migrant workers on the Seasonal Worker visa (SWV) can access healthcare free of charge from the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland.
Workers should register as an NHS patient with a family doctor – a General Practitioner (GP) - and will not have to pay for this. The GP will help those on the SWV access any healthcare they may need and can arrange an interpreter to facilitate engagement. At point of registration the GP may ask for some documents to prove an individual is in work, this could include proof of visa, a work contract or wage slip. If the GP prescribes medication to a worker this is free to access from a pharmacy in Scotland.
Once registered most healthcare excluding dental treatment or eye care is free to workers this includes primary care, secondary care and emergency care. All services that are free to Scottish citizens are also free to workers on the SWV in Scotland.
Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy – Fourth Annual Progress Report - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) - Report setting out progress implementing the Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy from 2020 to 2021.