CARE campaigns for better anti-trafficking policy and legislation with particular focus on caring for victims and tackling the demand that sustains trafficking in the UK.
Human trafficking, a form of modern day slavery, is one of the worst affronts to human dignity in our 21st century world. There are an estimated 45.8 million people in modern day slavery in the world. Human trafficking involves the recruitment, transport or accommodation of someone for the purpose of exploitation. People are trafficked into prostitution, agricultural and building labour, manufacturing, domestic servitude, forced begging, benefit fraud and petty criminality, and organ removal.
The Home Office has estimated that there are 10,000 – 13,000 victims of modern day slavery in the UK in a given year. About a quarter of the people in modern day slavery in the UK are children and many victims are British people trafficked and exploited within our own country.
Since 2010, human trafficking has risen in prominence in Parliament. Most notably, the Government introduced new legislation – the Modern Slavery Act 2015 which passed shortly before the last general election. The Act consolidated the existing human trafficking and forced labour offences, extended the maximum sentence, created the role of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, provides a statutory defence for victims forced to commit crimes by their traffickers and allows for the provision of Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTAs) to assist vulnerable children.
Since the last election the Government has been working to implement the Modern Slavery Act and has implemented trial schemes for ICTAs and for new ways to determine if a person is or is not a victim.
One aspect that is not being addressed is that of demand for paid sex which drives trafficking for sexual exploitation. Support for victims of trafficking also needs to be enhanced and extended along with a fuller implementation of the EU Anti-Trafficking Directive. There are also questions over to what extent the provisions of the Directive will be adopted in full following withdrawal from the EU.
In the main, measures to tackle human trafficking are devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland, however MPs from all parts of the UK continue to play a role at Westminster on legislation on this matter whether for the whole UK or just for England and Wales.
Questions for Candidates
- Are you aware of trafficking and modern day slavery taking place within this constituency and what do you propose to address it and to support victims?
- Will you promote further legislation to extend the reflection and recovery period of support for trafficking victims and to assist them in long term rehabilitation afterwards?
- Will you work to ensure that a swift roll out of independent child trafficking advocates schemes across the whole country as soon as possible? Will you also ensure that the advocates will have all the necessary legal powers and responsibilities in accordance with international guidelines?
- Will you work for a review of the laws on prostitution and its impact on trafficking for sexual exploitation and help to change attitudes towards demand for paid sex that fuels this form of human trafficking?
 Global Slavery Index 2016, Walk Free Foundation
 Home Office Modern Slavery Strategy November 2014. Modern day slavery statistics cover both victims of trafficking and forced labour
 National Crime Agency National Referral Mechanism Statistics – End of Year Summary 2016