Press Releases

    21 February 2006

    UNODC Head Welcomes United Kingdom Campaign against Trafficking in Human Beings

    VIENNA, 21 February (UN Information Service) -- The Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa, today welcomed the launch of Pentameter, a campaign against trafficking in human beings in the United Kingdom which has the support of the police, Government and partner agencies.

    The national campaign aims to support victims, help them rebuild their lives and recover their self-respect as well as ensure that criminals engaged in trafficking for sexual exploitation are brought to justice.

    "This campaign demonstrates that the United Kingdom is determined to become a hostile environment for criminals engaged in human trafficking," Mr. Costa said. "The victims suffer unimaginable trauma and it is important that they see their tormentors brought to justice. The rule of law must prevail."

    UNODC assists countries in tackling the growing global problem of trafficking in human beings, especially women and children, addressing the need not only to prosecute traffickers but also to protect victims. It provides expert assistance in areas such as drafting legislation, training criminal justice practitioners and developing witness protection programmes.

    Background information


    Pentameter is a national campaign in the United Kingdom, addressing the issues of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It has the support of the Police Service, Immigration Service, Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and a range of partner agencies.


    To deliver a co-ordinated programme to enable law-enforcement authorities, partner agencies and the community to demonstrate that the United Kingdom is a hostile environment for traffickers, particularly those involved in the sexual exploitation of women.


    • to bring about the recovery of victims, reduce the harm they suffer and lessen the effects of sexual exploitation upon communities.
    • to support and help victims to rebuild their lives and self-respect.
    • to disrupt and arrest those engaged in trafficking for sexual exploitation.
    • to secure sufficient evidence to convict those engaged in trafficking for sexual exploitation.
    • to improve the national and local intelligence knowledge-base on organized crime groups involved in trafficking women for sexual exploitation and related immigration crime issues.
    • through effective debriefing, capture any intelligence dividends from operational activity to improve the targeting of resources and facilitate additional intelligence, thereby creating intervention opportunities throughout the United Kingdom.  
    • to make full use of asset recovery.


    For further information, kindly contact:

    Ian Munro, Officer-in-Charge, Anti-Trafficking Section, UNODC
    Tel: ++ 43 1 26060 4466

    Riikka Puttonen, Expert, Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, UNODC
    Tel: ++43 1 26060 4290