Despite the PM stating that modern slavery is the “greatest human rights issue of our time”, victims are going hungry. In a recent interview on LBC radio, Senior Reporter Matthew Thompson heard from one such victim who, after managing to escape, is now struggling to find paid work and subsequently cannot afford to look after herself or her child. Listen here.
We are calling on the Govt to support the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill, 2nd reading due 25th Jan. Email your MP using our template and ask them to stand up for victims of modern slavery.
American lawyer and diplomat Luis C.deBaca has stated that the UK’s victim protection regime ‘is rendered almost meaningless by the lack of long-term care and alternatives to removal’. He contrasts this with America, where trafficking victims and their families can seek immigration status (the “T-Visa”) if they are willing to cooperate with an investigation and are recognised for their bravery and protected for speaking out.
As we highlighted in our submission to the Home Affairs Select Committee Modern Slavery Inquiry, the ‘guidance’ status of the Modern Slavery Act is less influential than the Immigration Act when it comes to the treatment of victims who do not have leave to remain in the UK. For victims of modern slavery and human trafficking, the detrimental impact of their immigration status is most notable when this results in their detention in an Immigration Removal Centre.
The Government must do more to ensure that victim’s welfare is at the forefront of immigration policy and support the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill.