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FLEX analysis: Draft UK Modern Slavery Bill

December 20, 2013

In an article published in the Guardian today, FLEX has warned that the UK Government’s haste to introduce a short, criminal-justice focussed Modern Slavery Bill has produced a Bill that will fail to prevent exploitation or to protect victims. Despite the Home Secretary’s stated aim of keeping victims “at the heart” of Government action, FLEX points out that the Bill has failed to include any provisions for the protection or assistance of victims.

The Bill also neglects to include any provisions to prevent exploitation in high-risk sectors, and introduces a Modern Slavery Commissioner that is so tightly controlled by the Secretary of State that it will be unable to perform its oversight function.

FLEX stresses the need to make the most of this rare opportunity to introduce a Bill that integrates international definitions into domestic law; introduces proactive investigation of labour exploitation; establishes a strong Modern Slavery Commissioner; and truly places victims at its heart by providing a statutory basis for the National Referral Mechanism.  

FLEX argues that by taking these steps the UK really can make progress in the complex fight to end human exploitation.

See full article here.