Commonwealth Games sex trade warning

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The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games could see an increase in human trafficking and prostitution, MSPs have been warned.

Democracy Live: The Equal Opportunities Committee continues its inquiry into migration and trafficking

Holyrood's equal opportunities committee is being urged to take action to avoid women being brought to the city to be sexually exploited.

The warning comes in a submission from Glasgow Community and Safety Services.

One of its projects to help women trafficked or exploited has supported dozens of people in the past yea.

Glasgow Community and Safety Services (GCSS) manages the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (Tara).

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There is concern that the Olympic Games in London and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow may increase the threat of human trafficking”

End Quote GCSS submission

Tara figures claimed that, in the year to March 2010, a total of 47 women were referred to them, ranging in age from 18 to 45.

Eleven women were trafficked to and exploited in Scotland, in areas including Aberdeen and Stranraer.

Five women were trafficked for domestic slavery and a further 14 women who had not been trafficked were raped, sexually assaulted, prostituted, had suffered domestic abuse or been forced into marriage.

The three most common nationalities were Nigerian, Brazilian and Chinese.

The GCSS submission states: "There is concern that the Olympic Games in London and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow may increase the threat of human trafficking into the UK and preventative measures need to be put in place now.

"There is evidence to suggest that trafficking and prostitution increases in places where large sporting events are being held, e.g. 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2006 World Cup in Germany."

Funds plea

The GCSS also said many women had poor experiences with the police, both overseas and in the UK, and were often reluctant to co-operate for fear that their families would be harmed.

Ann Hamilton, head of equalities and women's services at GCSS, will give evidence at Holyrood alongside John Watson, programme director for Amnesty International Scotland.

The Liberal Democrat MSP Robert Brown has also warned that construction workers working to prepare infrastructure for the games could increase the demand for prostitution.

He called for the Scottish government to set aside money to tackle sex trafficking last year.

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