7th MARCH 2011 Baroness Goudie: My Lords, is it not correct that the European convention on human trafficking was amended at the end of last year and that the United Kingdom has decided not to sign up to that amendment? Would it not be right now, after what the Minister has said further to what we know about human trafficking, for the Government to sign up to that? The amendment would ensure tougher border controls, tougher recovery of money across borders and a longer time for victims to be taken care of. Will the Minister please take this back since the UK is, through its Government, one of the two countries that has not signed up?
Earl Attlee: My Lords, the noble Baroness is experiencing exactly the same difficulties as I did when researching this. There is the convention and there is the directive. We are confident that the UK is compliant with the Council of Europe trafficking convention, an issue that is already in place. The noble Baroness is referring to the EU trafficking directive. We are looking closely at that directive's text and considering its merits. If we conclude that opting in to the directive would benefit the UK, we can apply to do so. The UK has a strong record in the fight against trafficking and already complies in both legislation and practice with most of what the draft directive requires.