Social policy charity CARE today has welcomed calls from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) for the UK Government to back Lord McColl’s Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill.
In a new report published today (Monday 13 July), the CSJ recommended that the Government should improve support for victims of modern slavery by enshrining their rights in law.
It Still Happens Here: Fighting UK Slavery in the 2020s says the best way for the Government to achieve this end is by supporting the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill.
Lord McColl’s Bill would guarantee confirmed victims of modern slavery in England and Wales statutory support both to protect them from the risk of destitution, homelessness, or re-trafficking and to help them rebuild their lives.
This would include financial assistance, accommodation, the right to remain all for a period of 12 months with the possibility of an extension if their needs require it.
The CSJ’s report includes new analysis which suggests the number of people in modern slavery in the UK could be as high as 100,000, although the real number could be higher still. In 2018, the Walk Free Foundation estimated the number could be 136,000.
CARE supported Lord McColl’s previous modern slavery support Bill in the 2017-19 Parliament and is once again backing the current Bill which would guarantee rescued victims at least 12 months support.
Welcoming the CSJ’s commendation of the McColl Bill, CARE’s CEO, Nola Leach, said:
“In communities across our nation there are people in domestic servitude, victims of labour exploitation or sexual exploitation, hidden in plain sight.
“This new report from the Centre for Social Justice highlights the awful reality of modern slavery here in the UK, in the 2020s.
“Sadly, the injustice of slavery is not just in our history, it is here with us today, in communities all across the United Kingdom.
“It’s vital that rescued victims of modern slavery receive the best quality care and assistance if they are to avoid destitution, homelessness or re-trafficking.
“But the truth is victims need support to be enshrined in law, so they’ve got the confidence of knowing they’ll not be let down.
“The legislation would guarantee rescued victims a minimum of 12 months crucial support so they can rebuild their shattered lives and it’s critical that the Government get behind it.”