January 23rd, 2014
Baroness Cox raises a question on Modern Slavery
Yesterday, the 22nd January 2014, Baroness Cox raised a question in the House of Lords asking Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to combat human trafficking and other forms of contemporary slavery.
Lord Taylor of Holbeach responded with reference to the government’s draft Modern Slavery Bill, stating that this will “consolidate and strengthen existing legislation to ensure that modern slave drivers face the full force of the law”.
Baroness Cox then highlighted that 27 million people are suffering from slavery worldwide and last year, 1,000 people in the UK were referred to authorities as potential victims of trafficking. She also raised the need to improve victim support and aftercare and questioned if the current 45-day reflection period was sufficient as it leaves “victims of trafficking vulnerable and unable to give testimony that might facilitate prosecutions”.
Lord Taylor of Holbeach responded with reference to the existing system and noted that “The scope of the national referral mechanism review, which is ongoing, will focus on identification of and support for victims, and is currently being finalised”.
Supplementary questions were asked by Lord Hylton, Baroness Doocey, Lord Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, Baroness Smith of Basildon and Lord Spicer. These questions covered key issues such as the Overseas Domestic Worker visa, business supply chains and child guardianship.
You can read the full text of the debate here
You can watch a video of the debate here (play from 15:22:47)
For more information on the current system and the need to improve care for victims of trafficking we recommend this report.
You can download our Parliamentary Briefing on Human Trafficking which was prepared for this question below.
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