Friday links: Surge in cases in Scotland, arrests in Northern Ireland and online firms urged to do more

Every Friday we share the latest news on modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK. Keep up to date by following us on twitter (@theclewer) or Facebook, where we will share the article each week, or sign up to our monthly newsletter

Modern slavery cases surge as Scotland doubles down on trafficking

There has been an increase in modern slavery cases being reported in Scotland. There were 213 cases in 2017, a 42% increase on the previous year. 30% of the cases reported involved children, and the biggest increase has been in cases of labour exploitation. Scotland introduced a new national strategy on modern slavery last year, the government believes the implementation of the new strategy, as well as better public awareness, has led to the rise in cases being reported. 

An increase in the number of trafficking referrals in Scotland suggests that we are getting better at identifying and reporting victims of trafficking.
— Michael Matheson, Scottish Justice Secretary

Two brothers in UK-wide human-trafficking network convicted

Two Romanian men living in Northern Ireland have been convicted on a number of human trafficking offences, including conspiracy to traffic for sexual exploitation. The two men are believed to be part of a UK-wide trafficking gang. 32 victims were found over the course of the investigation. 

Internet firms should do more to combat human traffickers – May

Ahead of a meeting of her Modern Slavery Taskforce, Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated her belief that internet firms like Google and Facebook need to be doing more to stop perpetrators of modern slavery using their services to enable their crimes. During her taskforce meeting she would have heard from the National Crime Agency who are investigating how traffickers use technology and how they could be disrupted. 

[Internet companies] cannot stand by while their platforms are used to facilitate child abuse, modern slavery or the spreading of terrorist and extremist content. As the hosts of user-generated content internet companies can and should be doing more to prevent trafficking-related material from appearing on their platforms.
— Prime Minister Theresa May

What not to wear: week three of the #giveupslavery challenge

Our Lent #GiveUpSlavery challenge continues this week with an investigation into our clothes - who made them and what conditions did they work under? As we buy more and more 'fast fashion' made overseas by unseen hands, do we know the True Cost of our clothing? Find out more and sign up to the challenge below. 

That's it from us this week. Keep up to date with us the rest of the week by following us on twitter (@theclewer) or Facebook, where we will share the article each week, or sign up to our monthly newsletter.

Photo by Heather Emond on Unsplash