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Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Minister for Women and Equality, responding to the Government’s announcement that it will drop its opposition to the EU Directive to combat Human Trafficking, said: 

“At last the Tory-led Government has been forced to drop its opposition to these important plans to tackle human trafficking. It is thanks to pressure from women’s groups, campaigners and ourselves that the Government has now listened and belatedly taken action. 

“Given that these tough new rules which crack down on criminal gangs and provide more support for victims became law across most of Europe yesterday, it is shameful Ministers have not acted before now – especially as the UK has traditionally led the way in the fight against this barbaric crime.     

“Dithering, delays and disengagement from the Tory-led Government is not how we make the UK a more hostile territory for traffickers. 

“Rather than grudgingly signing up to late action, Ministers should now be showing strong commitment to support the thousands of vulnerable women and children who are smuggled across borders and forced to work, beg or pushed into the sex trade.”

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