An inquiry into the impact and contribution of migrant populations within Scottish society and the extent and nature of trafficking has been launched today by the Equal Opportunities Committee.
The committee inquiry will cover a comprehensive range of issues including trends and data on migration and the ability of public sector services to respond to migrant populations.
The inquiry will consider the scale of the trafficking problem in Scotland and how public sector agencies assist victims of this activity. The committee welcomes the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s inquiry into Human Trafficking in Scotland, launched earlier this week.
Committee Convener Margaret Mitchell MSP said: “This inquiry will look at the contribution migrants make to Scottish society, economy and culture and explore whether this is reflected in the response of public services and the general portrayal of migrants in the media.
"The committee will also seek to explore the nature and extent of trafficking in Scotland.”
Among the questions the inquiry will consider are:
- What are the trends in migration to Scotland?
- To what extent does reliable data on migration exist to inform public policy-making?
- What is the contribution of migration to the Scottish economy?
- What is the contribution of migrant communities to Scottish culture, society and civic society?
- How does the media portray the contribution of migrant communities in Scotland?
- How can positive messages regarding the contribution of migrant populations to Scottish society be effectively disseminated?
- What is the degree of alignment of Scottish public services with migrant populations?
- What is the effectiveness of public sector responses to changing migration patterns?
- What is the degree of awareness of the rights of migrants?
- What is the scale of the trafficking issue, in terms of the number of people involved and the geographical areas which people trafficked tend to come from?
- What is the nature of the problem? Are people trafficked primarily for reasons related to sexual exploitation or with regard to false labour?
- Given the degree of criminality that tends to be involved in human trafficking, what problems does this present for public-sector agencies seeking to assist the victims of this activity?
The deadline for submitting views on the inquiry to the Equal Opportunities Committee is 9 April 2010.