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PRESS RELEASE: Evidence to the Joint Committee on the draft Modern Slavery Bill

12 February 2014

Every year an estimated 2.4 million people are trafficked globally. It is the world’s second most profitable crime.

In the UK trafficking remains a largely hidden crime with few victims coming to the attention of authorities. Last year officials state they found just over 2,000 victims in the UK, but experts believe the real numbers to be much higher.

The AIRE Centre's written evidence follows from the oral evidence we gave on the 4 February to the Joint Committee on the draft Modern Slavery Bill.

In summary the AIRE Centre calls for the following to be included in the Draft Bill:

  • A wider definition of the 'means' required to establish trafficking;
  • Exploitation should include exploitation for the purposes of begging or forced criminality;
  • There should be a clear obligation on authorities to identify victims;
  • The National Referral Mechanism, or an equivalent, should be set down in statute and should be independent from other authorities, particularly the immigration service;
  • There should be a right to review or appeal a negative decision on identification;
  • Protection provisions for victims to include:
    • Recovery and reflection period
    • Medical, financial, housing, psychological and legal assistance
    • For child victims, a guardian should be appointed to ensure appropriate support and access to education is provided
    • Residence permit
    • Legal aid
    • Compensation
    • Non-criminalisation
    • Risk assessment on return of the rights, safety and dignity of the victim     
  • The Anti-Slavery Commissioner must be independently appointed and accountable to Parliament, not to the Secretary of State.
  • The Commissioner's role should include review of the protection of rights of victims.

Read our full written evidence

Find out what else we are doing on the issue of human trafficking 

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