The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, welcomed the Government's decision to opt in on the EU Directive on Human Trafficking.
The Archbishop had been pressing the Government to opt in, to ensure an EU wide approach to tackle the issue of sex trafficking. This followed the Home Office decision in June to initially opt out of the Directive.
The Archbishop said:
"I am delighted that the Government has finally reached the right decision and will now opt in to the EU Directive on Human Trafficking. For some time I have been raising the matter with the Home Secretary calling on her to opt in to the EU Directive to ensure we have a united front across Europe tackling the evil of human trafficking.
"I am pleased the Government now acknowledges that 'opting in would send a powerful message to traffickers that Britain is not a soft touch'. Our Government should be ensuring Britain leads the way on tackling slavery, just like it did in the days of William Wilberforce. Sex trafficking is nothing more than modern day slavery.
"We need a united front against the traffickers, pimps and gangsters – and we must speak out for those that don't have a voice. There should be no loopholes for those abusing and terrorizing the vulnerable.
"What we need are tough cross-border solutions to international problems. I am pleased that we will now be joining with our European brothers and sisters and put an end to this evil trade.
"At a time when fewer traffickers are being jailed than at any other time in the last 5 years, we need ambitious and binding legislation to make anti-trafficking policy more effective."
The Home Office announcement can be found here
The Archbishop's article in the Yorkshire Post from September 2010, criticising the Government opt out, can be found here