Detention Taskforce briefing for House of Lords Second Reading of the Nationality and Borders Bill

December, 2021

As the Nationality and Borders Bill enters the House of Lords it is vital to consider the evidence base and reasoning behind the inclusion of clauses relating to victims of slavery. Measures dealing with identification and support for victims of crime do not belong within a Bill on migration. Their inclusion risks muddling the two issues and undermining the Modern Slavery Act 2015. There is also a disconnect between the experiences of trafficked people and those supporting them, and the justification for measures in the Bill. The government claims it wants to end ‘abuse of the UK’s Modern Slavery System’ without any evidence of this ‘abuse’. It is our experience that the real issue is that individuals have been exploited but the current systems and structures prevent them challenging this treatment and seeking help. This briefing by the Taskforce on Victims of Trafficking in Immigration Detention sets out these concerns and explains why the Nationality and Borders Bill will only worsen the situation, driving victims underground, increasing the numbers in immigration detention and playing into the hands of exploiters.