Council of Europe Convention on Action against Human Trafficking What is the Convention? The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Human Trafficking came into force on 1 February 2008. The UK signed the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Human Trafficking on 23 March 2007. In a symbolic move, the then Home Secretary John Reid signed the document at the desk used by the the abolitionist William Wilberforce in his battle against slavery more than 200 years ago. The UK ratified the Convention on 17 December 2008. The Convention came into force in the United Kingdom on 1 April 2009, and the UK is bound by its provisions. The Convention sets out measures to protect and promote the rights of victims of trafficking which States are obliged to implement, including standards in relation to: identifying victims, providing assistance, putting in place a recovery and reflection period, residence permits, compensation and legal redress, and ensuring any return to the home country is safe and dignified.Read the full text of the Convention here. UK Action Plan In order to meet the obligations of the Convention, the UK developed its 'Action Plan' on trafficking. It published its most recent strategy on tackling human trafficking in July 2011. To read the strategy, click here. The Home Office and Scottish Government published its most recent strategy in October 2009. National Referral Mechanism As part of its implementation of the Convention, the UK set up the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), a procedure for identifying victims of trafficking and providing support. Find out more and see statistics from the NRM here.