Anti Human Trafficking and Exploitation Resources



Please be aware the toolkit will be updated with new information – so save the link to this page, rather than downloading and saving the document 


Click HERE to access the toolkit


Human trafficking and exploitation is happening in Scotland. Hidden in plain sight across all of our communities, urban and rural, this abuse of adults and children for profit causes significant harm to victims and those who have survived and are trying to rebuild their lives. 


This NRM toolkit has been developed as a resource to improve the formal identification of victims through the National Referral Mechanism in Scotland and ensure that both professionals and potential victims are clear on the process and possible outcomes of this national pathway to identification and protection. Developed by Action Area 1 of the Scottish Government’s Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy and in partnership with First Responder organisations in Scotland, the toolkit has been designed for ease of use and to promote the need for a trauma informed approach to identification and support for all adult and child survivors recovered in Scotland.


If you have any issues or need further information, please contact Chris Murray at


Human trafficking and exploitation are complex and hidden crimes, as well as abuses of human rights and dignity.  They are not only international issues, nor are they confined to our larger towns and cities, but can and do affect communities all over Scotland.  The many purposes for which people are exploited – including commercial sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, criminal exploitation (for example benefit fraud and forced drugs cultivation), domestic servitude, sham marriages and organ trafficking – are continually evolving.  Scottish local authorities are committed to contributing to tackling these issues and supporting victims of trafficking and exploitation.

On this page:

Scotland's Human Trafficking Strategy
Anti-Slavery Day Conference 2018 resources and links
Training resources used in Dundee
COSLA anti-trafficking conference 2012

Last updated: 19/03/2021

Scotland's Human Trafficking Strategy

In 2015 the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Act 2015 received Royal Assent.  In May 2017 the Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy (PDF) was laid before Parliament.  The Strategy sets out the Scottish Government's approach and commitment to tackling human trafficking by supporting and protecting victims, disrupting the activities of perpetrators and addressing the conditions which foster trafficking, both in Scotland and elsewhere.  COSLA is supporting Scottish local authorities in developing collaborative approaches to contribute to the Strategy.  

COSLA chairs Action Area 1 within the strategy – this focuses on identifying victims and supporting them to safety and recovery. To do this there needs to be greater awareness across society of trafficking and exploitation along with clear routes to report concerns. To support this the group have developed some awareness raising and training materials, these materials are free of charge and are available below. The presentation is intended to offer accurate and consistent advice for both professional and public audiences. Additionally, there is a document addressing the common myths surrounding trafficking and exploitation.

Human Trafficking - Awareness Raising Presentation (PPT)

Human Trafficking - Common Myths (doc)

(Feedback on the above resources would be welcomed and should be sent to:

Action Area 2 of the Strategy focuses on identifying perpetrators and disrupting their activity.  One areas identified for improvement is for successful actions to be publicised, to send the message that Scotland is a country that is hostile to human trafficking and exploitation.  In order to achieve this aim, Scottish Government has been working with stakeholders to create a Human Trafficking and Exploitation Newsletter.  These can be accessed below:

October 2017 Newsletter (PDF)

March 2018 Newsletter (PDF)

September 2018 Newsletter (PDF)

The first Annual Progress Report (PDF) on the Strategy was published in June 2018 and sets out what has so far been achieved in partnership across Scotland. There will be significant activity in this policy area in 2018/19.

In autumn of 2017 as part of a public awareness campaign the Scottish Government commission the following advert (youtube)

Launched in July 2013, Human Trafficking: Reading the Signs is an awareness raising leaflet produced by Police Scotland and Scottish Government to raise awareness of the signs of human trafficking amongst professionals across Scotland.  You can download the leaflet here.

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Anti-Slavery Day Conference 2018

On 18 October 2018, Scottish Government and COSLA jointly held a conference for public, private and third sector organisations and researchers both in Scotland and elsewhere and businesses to hear more about what they can do to disrupt and mitigate the dangers of trafficking and exploitation within their workforce and wider society. This event

  • Explored the potential for regional partnerships in Scotland and how they can be utilised to share good practice, raise awareness and tackle trafficking and exploitation;

  • Considered what research is available and in process related to human trafficking both here in Scotland and beyond; and

  • Focussed on how businesses have a major role to play in the fight to eradicate human trafficking and exploitation.


Conference links and resources

Human Trafficking Guidance for businesses
The Cabinet Secretary for Justice announced the launch of Guidance for Businesses regardless of their size, on how to tackle human trafficking and exploitation in their operations and supply chains. A copy of this guidance is available here:

Walk Free’s ‘Promising Practices Database
A review of what works and lessons learnt:

Delta 87
A global knowledge platform exploring what works to eradicate forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour, an aim set out in Target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: 

Anti Slavery Partnership Toolkit
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s (IASC) office, in collaboration with the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, has launched an online toolkit to help local organisations and agencies work better together to tackle modern slavery. You can view the toolkit here:

Programme Challenger
Programme Challenger is Greater Manchester’s partnership approach to tackling serious organised crime in all its forms. Responding to the problem of organised crime is not solely the responsibility of the police and the criminal justice system: 

University of Nottingham resources
A survey of research about UK modern slavery and by UK-based researchers:

Mapping locations and activities for anti-slavery partnerships across the UK: 

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COSLA Anti-Trafficking Conference 2012

COSLA hosted an anti-trafficking conference in August 2012.  The resources from that event are provided below:

The conference report

The conference agenda


What is Human Trafficking?
Ann Hamilton, Human Trafficking Foundation

EHRC Inquiry into Human Trafficking – Implications for Local Authorities
Claudia Bennett, Equality and Human Rights Commission

Affected for Life
Short film produced by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime

The UK’s Response to Human Trafficking
David Dillnutt, United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre

Identifying Victims and Tackling the Crime
Stephen Whitelock, Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency
Tom McCrosson, Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority
Trish McMonagle, UK Border Agency

Protecting Child Victims of Human Trafficking
Dr. Paul Rigby, Glasgow City Council

Supporting Adult Victims of Human Trafficking
Jim Laird, Migrant Help
Bronagh Andrew, TARA (the case study within this presentation is not based on a real person)

Multi-Agency Awareness Raising 
Sally Anderson, Dundee City Council 
Katie Cosgrove, NHS Health Scotland

Two Little Girls’ 
Short film produced by Eaves

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