A multi-disciplinary event developing sustainable solutions to the cycle of trafficking, poverty, homelessness and vulnerability in Edinburgh.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world. Despite being illegal in most countries it is thriving. Scotland is no exception and in Edinburgh our capital city we know that it's insidious, hidden in plain sight and the reality is impacting the lives of many.
Poverty is one of the biggest drivers of human trafficking and also one of the results of trafficking. Ending the cycle of human trafficking and exploitation and the disruption of perpetrators is crucial to us achieving our Ending Poverty by 2030 commitment in Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Poverty Commission report published in September 2020 said, “to end poverty in the city, the single biggest transformation Edinburgh could achieve would be to make the experience of seeking help less painful, less complex, more humane, and more compassionate.” The six subsequent areas for action all identify the push and pull factors that we know are associated with human trafficking and exploitation and the continued cycle of poverty that ensues. The need for this kind of intervention which will allow victims of trafficking to escape the poverty which traps them in exploitation and makes them targets for re-trafficking is not only essential for the individuals involved but also for us to see that transformation and systemic change that we so wish for.
Over the last twelve months we have been privileged to listen to colleagues, like yourself, across all sectors regarding the challenges and concerns they have about human trafficking in the City as well as exploring the opportunities and tangible outcomes possible for victims and the strengthening of capacity and morale across agencies.
There is a wealth of persuasive evidence of the value of Anti-Trafficking Partnerships across the UK and beyond and many of these have generously contributed their time and formed our thinking about how Edinburgh can begin the Scottish example of good practice in this area.
For this reason we are delighted to be convening the first Edinburgh Anti-Trafficking Partnership Event on 2 March 2023. It will be the first Partnership of its kind in Scotland and will bring together experts in anti-trafficking work alongside expertise in homelessness, mental health, social work, policing, employability, criminal justice and others, it will include service delivery practitioners and policy makers.
We are pleased to have anti-trafficking, lived experience, partnership experts and others from across the UK coming to share with us including; Kevin Hyland, former UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and Lead of London Metropolitan Police’s Human Trafficking Unit, Major Kathy Betteridge, Director of Anti-Trafficking & Modern Slavery, Salvation Army and UK Government contract holder for Modern Slavery Services in England and Wales, Dr. Paul Rigby, Lecturer in Social Work at University of Stirling and child trafficking expert and Rabiya Ravat, Director of Migrant Help's Slavery Support Services. We are also grateful to anti-trafficking experts from all around Scotland who will assist in facilitating our round table discussions.
Above all, your unique expertise, knowledge, creativity and questioning is essential to us in building this Partnership and achieving solutions to some of the most persistent societal challenges which we face as we battle the growing poverty crisis.
Human trafficking and exploitation is inextricably linked to poverty. The key message from the Edinburgh Poverty Commission’s report is that poverty in Edinburgh is real and damaging, but it can be solved. We hope that you will join with us as we take practical, ground breaking solutions to ending poverty and human trafficking in Edinburgh and across Scotland.
As part of this event SOHTIS will be hosting a free networking lunch at the end of the session giving delegates the opportunity to engage in further informal discussions and make positive connections.
Thursday 2 March 2023, 09:30 – 14:00. Optional networking lunch from 1.30pm.
2nd March 2023
Norton Park Conference Centre, 57 Albion Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5QY.