In 2006 the UK established the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre. This is a multi-agency organisation that acts as a central point of co-ordination for intelligence, analysis and operational activities around human trafficking. It works very closely with law enforcement agencies throughout the country and with NGOs as well as the Home Office in helping combat human trafficking.
The role of the UK’s equivalent mechanism to the National Rapporteur is primarily exercised by the IDMG which performs an oversight role. The IDMG is supported in this by the UK Human Trafficking Centre; UK Border Agency and the NGO Stakeholder Group.
Situating the primary equivalent mechanism within the IDMG is advantageous, as the IDMG already has strategic oversight of all human trafficking issues. Its close links and ability to liaise with the UKHTC; NGO Stakeholder Group and UK Border Agency enable it to access information and consider concerns from a wide range of sources.
The equivalent mechanisms in the UK have the responsibility for strategic oversight and monitoring of UK policy on human trafficking; data collection and analysis. The IDMG provides a strategic oversight and monitoring function. Information on trends and possible threads is primarily provided by the UKHTC, who hold a key research function. The UKHTC has as a core function the co-ordination of law enforcement response to human trafficking, which it carries out through a number of multi agency sub groups. Oversight and direction of policy is set by the IDMG.
Data collection on THB in the UK is a co-ordinated effort between the police Regional Intelligence Units, the UK Human Trafficking Centre and the various law enforcement agencies. The UKHTC acts as a central point of co ordination of for intelligence, analysis and operational activities around human trafficking. It works very closely with law enforcement agencies throughout the country and with NGOs as well as the Home Office.
The UK launched an Action Plan to tackle human trafficking in March 2007. It was updated on 2nd July 2008 and will be updated annually. This document sets out the UK’s end to end strategy in tackling human trafficking. In support of this, the UKHTC publishes an annual report.
The National Action Plan is jointly published by the Home Office and Government for Scotland with copies laid in the libraries of the Houses of Parliament and published on both Department’s websites. The overall document is approved by Home Office and Scottish Ministers with particular input from the IDMG. Each action in the Action Plan has a named owner, for example a specific unit within a Government department. The owner of the action is responsible for implementing that action. Progress against each action point is monitored by the IDMG.
The UK’s equivalent mechanisms have also a close relationship with the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The IDMG provides a strategic oversight of all trafficking issues and directs UK policy on human trafficking, including any issues in relation to the National Referral Mechanism. Information and reports on its progress are fed back into the group. The group are able to discuss, analyse and where necessary direct and make recommendations regarding issues that may arise from the functioning of the National Referral Mechanism.
The IDMG has close links with the NGO Stakeholder Group; the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and the UKHTC. As part of their remit, the NGO Stakeholder group can discuss issues arising from the NRM. These issues are taken forward to the IDMG where necessary. The UKBA also supports the IDMG in its oversight role. Some Competent Authorities for the NRM are situated within UKBA. UKBA communicates with the IDMG and provides information on the functioning of the NRM. A Competent Authority is also contained within the UKHTC. The UKHTC is also responsible for the collection of data from the NRM.
Close relationships between all of these groups allows for effective scrutiny and communication when discussing issues related to the NRM.