Children trafficked in Scotland will now be provided with specialist independent guardians after an amendment was passed to the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Bill during the Stage 2 Committee session today.
Proposed by Christina McKelvie MSP, one of the co-convenors of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Human Trafficking, the amendment will require the Scottish Government to make arrangements for the appointment of an independent guardian to assist, support and represent a trafficked child. CARE has been calling for a statutory system of such guardians or advocates for a number of years and we are very pleased to see this provision added to the Bill. Other MSPs on the committee tabled amendments highlighting weaknesses in the clause. Although these were not successful there is still the possibility of future amendments at Stage 3 to improve the clause.