Modern Day Slavery Bill

On 16 December 2013, the Home Secretary launched the draft Modern Day Slavery Bill.

A special parliamentary process is planned to fast track the bill to the statute book prior to the 2015 general election. The Home Secretary’s draft bill will go to select committee for a maximum of 4 months in preparation for its second reading in the next parliamentary session. It will require a carry over notice to guarantee its third reading in the last session prior to the election.

The bill’s content is expected to be modified during the process to reflect the recommendations and findings of the evidence based report prepared by Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Frank Field MP and John Randall MP. The key elements of this report are:
a) Required changes to law.
b) Required changes to policy, eg, dealing with human trafficking must be a policing priority.
c) Responsibility for tackling human trafficking to transfer from the Immigration Ministry to the Security Ministry.
d) Establishment of a Commissioner.) Traffickers will be stripped of their assets which will be ring-fenced for victim compensation.
f) Review of further law changes after the general election, eg, prostitution.

Associated Activity
Alongside the Modern Day Slavery bill, the following activity has been initiated:

a)    The Home Secretary has started a review on the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).

b)    James Brokenshire will have regular meetings with the Chief Constables, the Police and Crime Commissioners and the National Crime Agency to ensure consistent approach to tackling modern day slavery, including training of frontline officers.

c)    James Brokenshire is in discussion with the Director of Public Prosecutions on preventing victims coerced into crime being prosecuted. He is also in discussion with the Solicitor General regarding sentencing for traffickers.

d)    Senior and junior judges and defence lawyers will receive training on human trafficking.

e)    A new modern day slavery unit has been set up within the Home Office to support ministers and to bridge the work of the Human Trafficking Foundation and law enforcement agencies.

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