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article imagePolice investigate claims of sex trafficking in Edinburgh

By Gemma Fox     Mar 28, 2011 in World
Edinburgh - An Eastern European woman has told health workers in Edinburgh that she was brought to the UK and forced to work as a prostitute sparking an investigation into claims of sex trafficking in the city.
Last week an Eastern European woman who was visiting an NHS sexual health clinic in Edinburgh informed staff she was fearing for her life. The woman told staff she had been forced into the sex industry by a violent partner and was now scared that he would kill her as he had previously killed another woman.
The woman also claims that she was brought here by her partner who forced her to tell her family that she was coming to the UK willingly to work as a prostitute. She was also forced to steal from them and they had since disowned her. The woman told concerned staff that she knew no one else in Scotland. She also indicated that she feared for her family and for her own safety if there were any repercussions following her admissions to them.
Concerned staff contacted police and the city council found the woman emergency accommodation but the charity Migrant Helpline have since moved the woman to a safe house.
A Lothian and Borders spokesman said, "We can confirm that we are investigating a report of alleged human trafficking.
"Lothian and Borders Police is committed to identifying victims of human trafficking, and we will fully investigate any report or intelligence we receive."
The force has, so far, never recorded one confirmed case of human trafficking in the city despite many claims of women being brought into Edinburgh and forced into prostitution.
Last year police were alerted a possible case of human trafficking when staff with NHS Lothian informed them about a sex-for-sale sauna that was possibly bringing in women from Eastern Europe. The woman were said to speak no English and to have been treated badly by the owners of the sauna. Allegations of cash being traded for the women were made but Lothian and Borders Police were unable to take the case any further after it was established that there was no evidence of human trafficking.
More about Sex trafficking, Sex trade, Eastern europe, Sexual health, Edinburgh
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