WALES: 'Stamp out Wales Sex Slave Trade' Up to 150 Women Suffering in Our Towns - Campaign

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Byline: By TOM BODDEN Wales Affirs Correspondent

UP to 150 women are forced to work as sex slaves in towns and cities across Wales, Amnesty International warned yesterday.

First minister Rhodri Morgan received a 1,000-name petition calling on the Assembly Government to provide safe havens for the victims who are often illegally trafficked into the country by criminal gangs.

The plea came in the form of a portrait of a woman - described as 'haunting' by Mr Morgan - made up of a collage of scraps of hundreds of petition postcards.

It was backed by members of the National Federation of Women's Institutes in Wales who are campaigning for an end to the sleazy trade in women and children.

It comes two years after three young women, aged 18, from China, Malaysia and Namibia, were found to be working as prostitutes by police in North Wales during planned raids on brothels in 2006 - although the women later denied they had been victims of trafficking.

This February three Chinese women aged 24, 39, and 40 were deported after police found them working in a brothel in St Mary's Road, Llandudno - but again, there were no details released to suggest they had been trafficked.

The WI campaign focusses on the obligations of the Assembly Government to provide services for women who may have suffered kidnap, rape, violence and exploitation.

UK government policy placed difficulties in providing public services to victims is difficult, Amnesty said.

But a new Council of Europe convention on trafficking was to be adopted in the UK which would offer more support to victims in Wales. …