During a debate this afternoon in the House of Commons, the Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Sarah Newton MP, announced Government proposals for improving the support offered to victims of modern day slavery.
The proposals include:
- Government funded places of safety where adult victims can receive support for three days offering immediate protection after a person escapes from a situation of exploitation, while they decide whether to enter the formal process for accessing 45 days of support
- A new additional 45 day period of “move on” support after a person is confirmed as a victim, including accommodation, advocacy, counselling and expert assistance
- Provision of “drop in” services to help victims make the transition from safe house support for a period of up to 6 months
The Minister also confirmed that the Government intends to ensure that there are national minimum standards of care provided to victims and that support will be underpinned by legislation through the introduction of regulations under section 50 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Whilst we welcome these proposals as far as they go, they fall short of the 12 months of assistance following identification as a victim offered by Lord McColl’s Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill.