Welcome for Modern Slavery Bill
Tougher penalties for human trafficking, announced in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday, have been welcomed.
The measures in the Modern Slavery Bill give new powers to courts and ensure compensation is paid to victims. In addition an anti-slavery commissioner will be established to co-ordinate the response of law-enforcement agencies. The Home Office wants the Modern Slavery Bill to become law before the next election.
The Christian charity Hope for Justice, which exists to end human trafficking and slavery in the UK, tweeted: ‘Delighted to see victims of human trafficking and modern slavery prioritised in the #QueensSpeech 2014’
Elsewhere Matthew Tearfund chief executive Matthew Frost welcomed the commitment to eradicating human trafficking, but stressed that the Bill must reach beyond our borders.
Through the No Child Taken campaign, by the end of 2015, Tearfund aims to protect 50,000 vulnerable children worldwide from trafficking, disasters and disease.
Mr Frost said, ‘The scourge of human trafficking is a twenty-first century scandal, and we welcome this government's commitment to eradicating it from this country.
‘Traffickers often prey on families living in desperate poverty who try to give their children a better life by sending them halfway across the world in good faith, only to find they are caught up in horrendous slavery.
‘This Bill must reach beyond our borders, incentivising aid recipients to fight modern slavery and mandating supply chain transparency if we are to win the battle against trafficking.’
More than a million children are trafficked every year.