Anti-trafficking boss Stephen Chapman (right) with local government minister Carl Sargeant
The new Anti-Human Trafficking Co-ordinator for Wales has been named as Stephen Chapman, a former Deputy Director at the UK Border Agency, Police Superintendant and head of Community Safety and Equality with Cardiff Council.
According to the website Stop Human Trafficking Wales, the exact number of cases of human trafficking in Wales, as with the rest of the United Kingdom, is unclear.
But two aspects are very clear: the nature of human trafficking in Wales is evolving and trafficking in Wales does not occur exclusively in urban areas. SOCA operations in rural West Wales revealed the emergence of trafficking gangs moving women from Ireland to West Wales for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
A 2009 report by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales revealed that there was evidence of children being trafficked for both sexual exploitation and forced labour into, within and out of Wales, including towns in South Wales.
The report highlighted concern around 45 children, and 32 of these ticked all the high risk categories of being trafficked.
Announcing the appointment of Mr Chapman at a major international trafficking conference in Cardiff the Minister for Local Government and Communities, Carl Sargeant, said that in creating the post he wanted to make Wales a place that was hostile to human trafficking and that the appointment of Stephen Chapman as Wales’s second Anti-Human Trafficking Co-ordinator would help realise that aim.
Carl Sargeant said, “The recent reports on human trafficking are a wake up call.
“They tell us that a culture endures that allows the vilest of crimes to flourish. To end it we have to recognise it and confront it as partners. I have and will continue to fight for this issue to be given the status it deserves locally, nationally and internationally.”
One of the first tasks for the Anti-Human Trafficking Co-ordinator will be to respond to a report issuing a series of recommendations from a strategic round table on Human Trafficking in Wales, launched on the 14th November.