19th April 2012: Andrew Brons used the Catch the Eye procedure to speak during a debate on on Human Trafficking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this morning.
He told his fellow MEPS:
"Whilst trafficking in human beings can be for many purposes, the dominant form is of women and girls for sexual exploitation.
"When this subject was discussed in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) about two years ago, I asked the representative from Europol, whether any population groups were prominent among the traffickers and the trafficked. He answered, without any qualification: "The answer to both questions is the Roma".
"We need to examine the significance of that answer.
"Of course, criminal sexual exploitation of girls does not always involve the crossing of international frontiers. The grooming of underage girls by Asian men in the United Kingdom was first brought to public attention by our Chairman. The authorities responded by prosecuting him for alleged incitement. It was only when he was acquitted that the authorities were forced to start prosecuting those responsible for the grooming.
"International human trafficking is hindered most effectively by border checks." (I find it ironic that the EU should now be complaining about a problem that it has facilitated by the Schengen Agreement)*
* Andrew ran out of time before the last sentence could be delivered.