HC Deb 17 June 2002 vol 387 c109W
Mr. Woodward

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is his policy that persons who have entered the United Kingdom and are found to be victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation are automatically granted exceptional leave to remain. [60825]

Beverley Hughes

It is not our policy to grant routinely exceptional leave to remain to victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Each case is considered in the light of its own individual circumstances, including any compassionate factors which may be put forward. The fact that someone has been brought here against their will might be one such factor, but we will take into account all other relevant issues, including the age, health and length of stay of the applicant.

The White Paper "Secure Borders, Safe Haven" outlined proposals for supporting victims of exploitation. Where such people are willing to assist the authorities in bringing traffickers to justice, special arrangements may be made for their protection. The Government intends to develop "best practice" to distinguish victims in genuine need and to provide them with appropriate help and support, whether they are allowed to remain here or are returned to their own countries.

The Government is committed to tackling people trafficking and exploitation. The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill (Clause 118) proposes a new 14 year penalty for a person convicted of facilitating the entry of an individual for the purposes of prostitution.

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