A new cost-benefit analysis from experts at the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham has found that the benefits of longer-term support for modern slavery survivors considerably outweigh the initial costs.
In fact, the report shows that supporting modern slavery victims for a limited, but longer period than is currently available can result in clear cost savings and financial benefits.
Longer-support for victims brings multiple benefits
In his foreword to the report, Lord McColl says that increasing support for victims of modern slavery will make a big difference in a victim’s recovery, prevent costly interventions further down the line and enable more prosecutions of traffickers.
Helping modern slavery victims with longer support also means a swifter return to employment which benefits not only the victim but also relieves the burden on the benefits system.
This hugely detailed and extensive report has been compiled by a range of experts and CARE’s Senior Policy officer – Human Trafficking, Louise Gleich was able to provide a significant amount of input.
Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill
CARE is part of the Free for Good campaign, made up of organisations and individuals who are working towards greater support for modern slavery victims.
We support Lord McColl’s Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill which would guarantee modern slavery victims in England and Wales a full 12 months of support.
One of the arguments used by the Government for not supporting the Bill is the supposed costs involved with setting up new forms of support for victims.
Increased support for victims is financially sustainable
But this impressive report by the Rights Lab of Nottingham University is evidence that that increasing support for victims is hugely beneficial both for victims and in terms of affordability.
The report estimates that if Lord McColl’s bill had been passed in 2017, there would have been a direct financial benefit of implementing the changes for conclusive victims referred in that year, outweighing the costs.
Current support for victims
Modern slavery victims currently receive a minimum of 45 days of support, while a ‘conclusive grounds decision’ is made. This is where someone is recognised as a victim.
Once they receive confirmed victim status, they then receive a further 45 days of support. But this has now been challenged in court and the Government has agreed to create a new system.
What happens now?
So far, the Government has resisted pressure from members of the public, MPs, Peers and campaigners to back the Bill to give victims in England and Wales more support.
Lord McColl’s Bill is in the House of Commons where Iain Duncan Smith MP is sponsoring the Bill. It is still waiting its second reading.
We very much hope this impressive report will help persuade the Government to back the Bill to give modern slavery victims the sustained support they desperately need.