A NEW campaign to beat human trafficking and its links to organised crime was launched today.
Crimestoppers in Scotland wants to catch gangs involved and to raise awareness of trafficking's connection with serious and organised crime.
Trafficking can take many forms, including sexual exploitation, such as prostitution, forced labour, in places like factories or restaurants, and domestic slavery, such as maids and child minders.
The charity says the poor, socially disadvantaged and children and women are those most at risk of being exploited.
The campaign is looking to target people who may in their day-to-day lives come into contact with people who are trafficked, whether it is where they live, where they work or travelling in their community.
About 700 trafficked women are in Scotland and Crimestoppers says few people understand the consequences and serious implications behind trafficking and the fear that prevents people from speaking up about it.
The campaign is specifically encouraging people to pass on information and report concerns.
Kate Jackson, Scotland national manager for Crimestoppers said: "It is important for people to realise they do not have to suffer this vile trade.
"Crimestoppers is an independent charity. It is not part of the police and we can guarantee anonymity to people who contact us with information.
"We are not interested in who you are. It is what you know that is important and your call could save someone from this abuse.
"Anyone with information should call anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the online anonymous form on: www.crimestoppers-uk.org
" With the public's help we can make big steps in cracking down on this type of crime."
Detective Chief Inspector Drew Ferguson, of Strathclyde Police Public Protection Unit, said: "The anonymous intelligence gathered will provide a platform for the force to take action against those who are profiting from this silent industry.
"It will ensure they are held to account and that victims are provided with the support they deserve and require."
A support service for women who have been trafficked is already up and running. Glasgow Community and Safety Services Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance provides access to safe accommodation, clothing, toiletries, legal advice, health care and counselling.
A spokeswoman for Glasgow Community and Safety Services said: "We provide a support and advocacy service to women who have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation from across Scotland.
"To tackle the demand created by those who pay for sex and the criminal networks that organise trafficking, Scotland needs to take a zero tolerance approach.
"We believe this is an important step forward in improving the awareness of trafficking and will help to create a hostile environment for criminal organisations operating in Scotland."