Females: Human Trafficking

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 21st October 2020.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to eliminate (a) trafficking, (b) exploitation and (c) other forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private spheres.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is a global leader in efforts to eliminate trafficking, exploitation and violence against women and girls (VAWG) in all its forms. We have committed over £200 million in UK aid to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery by reducing vulnerability to exploitation and addressing the environments that allow human trafficking to thrive. For example, the £13 million "Work in Freedom" programme is working to reduce vulnerability to trafficking and forced labour of women and girls across migration pathways leading to the care sector and textiles, clothing, leather and footwear industries of South Asia and the Arab States.

In September 2020, FCDO launched the tender for our new £67.5 million programme to scale up effective interventions to prevent VAWG across development and humanitarian contexts - in homes, schools, workplaces and communities. This is the largest investment by any donor government in programming and research to prevent VAWG globally. The UK has also taken up leadership of the new Global Action Coalition on gender based violence (GBV) and will use this to drive more concerted, coordinated and scaled-up global action across the international system to prevent GBV in all its forms. Since 2018, the Government has taken concerted action to prevent abuse by aid workers in both public and private spheres and to improve the response when it happens. We introduced enhanced safeguarding standards and regularly assess partners against them. We created Project Soteria with INTERPOL to strengthen vetting of aid workers and information sharing among law enforcement agencies. Last month the Government published a safeguarding strategy covering all UK aid spend which builds on commitments made at the 2018 London Safeguarding Summit.

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