Salter Represents UK at Stockholm Conference on Human Trafficking
Reading West MP, Martin Salter, last week flew to Stockholm in his capacity as a Member of the Home Affairs Select Committee to represent the British Parliament at the annual Inter-parliamentary Conference of Justice and Home Affairs Committees which was hosted by the Swedish EU Presidency. The theme of the conference was “a balanced approach to legal security and combating organised crime, with a special focus on trafficking for sexual purposes”.
The conference heard presentations from the Head of the EU’s Organised Crime Unit, the Swedish Chancellor of Justice, the Head of the Swedish National Police and specialists in anti-trafficking work. Sweden has particularly tough laws which make it a criminal offence to seek sexual services from people who have been trafficked and which deliberately to set out to criminalise the customers as well as those working in the sex industry.
Martin Salter said:
“This was my first EU trip in nearly thirteen years in Parliament and I found it absolutely fascinating. The conference highlighted the very real differences in approach to complex and difficult issues such as prostitution and human trafficking with the tough line of Sweden being in marked contrast to the more relaxed attitude prevalent in countries such as Holland, Denmark and Luxembourg. Personally I found myself more inclined towards the Swedish position as it seems to me that if prostitution is to remain illegal then the customers cannot remain immune from prosecution. I also see the sense in trying to limit demand and reduce opportunities for criminal gangs to profit from the obscene trade in trafficking human beings for sexual purposes”