Human trafficking in Glasgow as criminal gangs profit from slavery and sexual exploitation

More people are trafficked to the Glasgow area than any other part of Scotland.

Worryingly the numbers forced into slavery, sexual exploitation, criminality and even organ harvesting are growing as ruthless gangs profit from desperate people.

Police figures reveal that over the past three years more than 1,400 victims of modern slavery have been recorded in Scotland, however the reality is expected to be far worse, the Scottish Daily Express reports.

Figures show 45 cases of domestic servitude, 176 cases of forced criminality - including being made to work on cannabis farms - 241 cases of labour exploitation, and 73 instances of sexual exploitation. They also included a terrifying instance of organ harvesting last year.

Joy Gillespie, of Survivors of Human Trafficking in Scotland, told the Daily Mail: "The combination of the cost of living crisis, significant labour shortages and increased numbers of displaced people makes human trafficking a lucrative business.

"Whilst the national data shows an increase in the number of victims recovered we know this is only the tip of the iceberg.

"Human trafficking is commonly referred to as 'hidden in plain sight' and we all have a role to play in identifying and reporting concerns in order that more victims can be recovered, supported and live the rest of their lives in freedom."

Victims were trafficked from more than 50 nations in the past three years, including Albania, Bangladesh, Eritrea and Iran. More than a fifth were Vietnamese.

The region with most instances of potential human trafficking was Greater Glasgow in all three years, with 488 referrals since 2020.

Assistant Chief Constable Bex Smith said: "We work with partners nationally and internationally to bring offenders to justice."

Paul McAnulty of Hope for Justice, a global trafficking charity, said: "Sadly, the rise in the number of potential victims of modern slavery being referred into the National Referral Mechanism in Scotland is reflective of the national picture. ' Tory justice spokesman Jamie Greene said: 'It is shameful that this abhorrent trade in people has been allowed to flourish in Scotland."

The Scottish Government said: "There is no place for any form of human trafficking or exploitation in Scotland. We have increased funding for victims and continue to work in partnership to raise awareness."

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