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Commonwealth Games could see prostitution and trafficking increase

Holyrood's Equal Opportunities Committee to be told action must be taken to avoid woman being brought to Glasgow to be sexually exploited.

Prostitution and Trafficking: Commonwealth Games could see increase in Glasgow, group warns.
© STV

Human trafficking and prostitution could increase because of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, MSPs are to hear.

Holyrood's Equal Opportunities Committee was told that action must be taken now to avoid rising numbers of women being brought to the city to be sexually exploited.

The committee's inquiry into migration and trafficking was told: "Creating a hostile environment is the most effective barrier to those seeking to exploit such opportunities.

"The more complacency and tolerance there is with regard to the sex industry in host cities, the more attractive it will be to organised gangs and exploiters."

Glasgow Community and Safety Services (GCSS), a charity which manages the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (Tara), issued the warning in written submissions to the committee.

A GCSS submission stated: "There is concern that the Olympic Games in London and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow may increase the threat of human trafficking into the UK and preventative measures need to be put in place now.

"There is evidence to suggest that trafficking and prostitution increases in places where large sporting events are being held, e.g. 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2006 World Cup in Germany."

Politicians previously expressed fears that the Games will lead to an increase in human trafficking for prostitution.

The Liberal Democrat MSP Robert Brown said he believes construction workers will increase the demand for prostitution.

He called for the Scottish Government to set aside money to tackle sex trafficking last year.

Tara figures showed that in the year to March 2010, a total of 47 women were referred to them, ranging in age from 18 to 45.

Eleven women were trafficked to and exploited in Scotland, from Aberdeen to Stranraer.

Five women were trafficked for domestic slavery and a further 14 women who had not been trafficked were raped, sexually assaulted, prostituted, had suffered domestic abuse and been forced into marriage.

The three most common nationalities were Nigerian, Brazilian and Chinese.

The GCSS submissions said many women had poor experiences with the police, both overseas and in the UK, and were often reluctant to cooperate for fear that their families would be harmed.

Ann Hamilton, head of equalities and women's services at GCSS, will give evidence at Holyrood alongside John Watson, programme director for Amnesty International Scotland.

GCSS was established by Strathclyde Police and Glasgow City Council.

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