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New report by NGO coalition finds Modern Slavery legislation is failing victims

October 19, 2016

The report entitled Class Acts? Examining modern slavery legislation across the UK was published yesterday by the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group, of which FLEX is a member, to mark Anti-Slavery day. The report reviews and compares anti-slavery legislation in three jurisdictions – the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and assesses the extent to which they contribute to the UK’s implementation of the 2005 Council of Europe Trafficking Convention and EU Trafficking Directive.

The research notes that there are significant differences in a number of key areas across the three jurisdictions of the UK, for instance in both the statutory support entitlements for adult victims and in the non-criminalisation provisions. In the majority of cases where differences occur, it is the Modern Slavery Act that falls short of its counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The report highlights the continuing weaknesses in data collection and the lack of a central, statutory body with the responsibility to collate and analyse data on both victims and perpetrators. It further finds that, despite best efforts to combat modern slavery across the jurisdictions, there isn’t a robust monitoring framework in place to oversee the implementation and impact of the Acts.

Among its recommendations are a UK-wide data strategy, with a focus on the collection of perpetrator data, and improved protections for victims in England and Wales, on par with protections in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Read the full report here.

FLEX is one of 12 organisations who form The Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group: a coalition of UK NGOs monitoring the UK government’s compliance with the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the EU Trafficking Directive.