Harman warns London 2012 sex traffickers
Harriet Harman says government stepping up action against human traffickers ahead of London 2012
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By Michael Younger.
Wednesday, 30, Sep 2009 02:21
By Matthew Champion.
Human traffickers are expected to step up efforts to smuggle women into Britain and force them to become sex workers in the run-up to London 2012, Harriet Harman said today.
In her speech to the Labour party conference in her brief as equality minister, Ms Harman said the government was "stepping up" preventative measures against human trafficking.
"We're determined to ensure that, especially in the run up to the Olympics, international criminal gangs don't trick and abduct women from abroad and sell them for sex in London," she said in Brighton today.
Ms Harman also noted the "very sinister development" of a US-based website where men post comments on women they have had sex with after they were put on sale online by pimps.
She said Punternet had "pages and pages" of women 'for sale' in London but she was powerless to shut it down as it was registered in California.
Ms Harman claimed she had urged the US ambassador to London and called on the state's governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to close the site.
"Surely it can't be too difficult for the Terminator to terminate Punternet and that's what I am demanding that he does," she said.
On the British National party Ms Harman moved to dismiss the far-right party's attempts to appear respectable.
"They're still the same party that wanted the Nazis to win the war," she said. "They're still the same party whose constitution excludes from membership anyone who is not 'indigenous Caucasian'.
"It is right that the new equality bill will ban that clause. There can be no place in our democracy for an apartheid party."