Summit to tackle human trafficking in Scotland
The Scottish government is to look at ways to tackle the problem of human trafficking in Scotland.
A summit will be held in Edinburgh on Thursday, uniting organisations which have a clear role either in tackling the crime or supporting the victims.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is to host the event, which aims to identify and agree further action to add to existing measures already being taken.
Mr MacAskill called human trafficking an "abhorrent crime".
He said: "It's totally unacceptable in this day and age that victims continue to be exploited for forced labour, sex or domestic servitude. We want to do everything we can to stamp it out wherever and whenever it occurs.
"Thursday is European anti-trafficking day so it is very timely that this summit is being held.
"I am looking forward to discussing the issue with delivery partners and coming up with some real tangible measures which will strengthen our approach to tacking this appalling crime."
Among the delegates attending will be the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Scotland head of legal Lynn Welsh.
She said: "Almost a year on from the publication of the EHRC's groundbreaking inquiry report into human trafficking in Scotland, we look forward to contributing to this summit.
"It should be an important milestone in the development of a comprehensive Scottish trafficking strategy to address this terrible human rights abuse."
Scottish Trades Union Congress president Agnes Tolmie will also be attending.
She said: "The crime of human trafficking cannot be allowed in any civilised society.
"We must do all in our power to combat the criminal abuse of human beings in forced labour, domestic servitude and sexual exploitation.
"We want all the involved agencies in Scotland who combat trafficking to ensure proper support mechanisms are in place to support the victims of this heinous crime."