WATCH: Govt urged to back vital modern slavery victims Bill

23rd Nov 2018 - James Mildred

In a new video Lord McColl of Dulwich, the Peer behind the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill argues that current modern slavery laws provide inadequate protection for victims. He also explains why his Bill can help address this shortcoming. 

 

 

Introduced in 2015, the Modern Slavery Act was ground-breaking in its scope. However, it has since come to light that because the Act did not provide for long-term statutory support, victims of modern slavery have been left destitute, homeless and re-trafficked.

Lord McColl introduced the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill in 2017. It received cross-party support in the House of Lords and has the backing of leading anti-trafficking charities.

The Bill was due to have its second reading in the commons on Friday 23 November, but it was objected to and is now scheduled for second reading on 25 January. To have any chance of becoming law, the Bill needs full Government support so it receives enough time to finish its legislative journey. 

Friday 23 November also saw a letter published in the Times and signed by 60 MPs and Peers all calling for the Government to back the Bill. 

The Bill would provide 12 months of guaranteed support for victims of modern slavery, as well as an advocate who will help victims with a personal care plan to ensure they can begin to re-build their lives.

Today, public policy charity CARE added their voice to all the many charities, organisations and individuals who want the Government to give the Bill its backing so it receives enough time for debate.

CARE’s Chief Executive Nola Leach said:

“Lord McColl’s work on tackling modern slavery has brought the plight of victims of trafficking to Parliament’s attention, leading to the creation of the Modern Slavery Act.

“He has continued to champion the needs of victims of modern slavery, introducing another Bill to combat some of the serious injustices they still face in Britain.

“Reducing modern slavery starts with putting the needs of victims first. Modern slavery victims need more time than they are currently being given to break the cycle of exploitation and live free for good.

“The Government should do the right thing and throw its weight behind the Bill.”

Find out more  

Link to the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2017-2019/0004/18004.pdf  

CARE is part of Free for Good, the UK’s campaign for the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill. Find out more here: http://freeforgood.org.uk

The Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill has wide support across society – 24 leading anti-trafficking businesses and charities recently signed a letter published in the Guardian calling on the Government to support the Bill.

MPs have also shown support for the Bill: MPs show support for Lord McColl’s Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill

The Free for Good campaign is currently supported by CARESnowdrop ProjectHuman Trafficking FoundationHope for JusticeAFRUCAAnti-Slavery InternationalKALAYAANArise FoundationAshiana SheffieldFreedom UnitedCo-opJericho Foundation,Northern CollegeYou Can Free UsThe Sophie Hayes FoundationIJM UKCaritasNAWOTribe Foundation,RAMFELThe Adavu ProjectOdanadiThe British Retail Consortium, ECPAT UK (Every Child Against Trafficking).

Lord McColl of Dulwich sponsored the Bill through the House of Lords.

Lord McColl of Dulwich is a Conservative member of the House of Lords. For more than a decade he has been raising issues of modern slavery and human trafficking in the House of Lords, pushing for greater protections and support for victims, including during development of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

“I introduced the Bill after repeated evidence showed that current support is failing victims of modern slavery in Britain today. Peers in the House of Lords have passed the Bill, it is now up to the Government to do the right thing and throw its weight behind it.”

Latest figures from the Global Slavery index suggests the number of human trafficking victims in the UK could be ten times higher than previously thought. They estimate the number of victims trapped in modern slavery in the UK is 136,000. 

MPs hear how modern slavery victims are let down by Govt – CARE 26.10.18

Link to The Work and Pensions Committee report on Victims of Modern Slavery: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news-parliament-2015/report-victims-modern-slavery-16-17/

For more on CARE’s work on modern slavery see here: https://care.org.uk/news/human-traffickin

Subscribe

Get the latest updates
on our work

Archive