After Exploitation are pleased to join the Free For Good campaign, which has played a vital role in supporting Lord McColl’s Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill. The proposed law and would provide victims of modern slavery with a minimum of 12 months’ support, and guaranteed protection from deportation or detention within that time. The Bill also asks for minimum standards of provision for victims, enshrining a right to psychological, medical and financial support in law.
The bill could not progress beyond a second reading due the proroguing of Parliament last month.
Now, the Victim Support bill has been re-tabled with an additional clause, asking Government to report on the immigration outcomes of human trafficking and slavery victims.
The most recent iteration of the bill asks Government to report:
- The immigration outcomes and nationality of slavery victims
- Any instances of deportation or detention of victims
- The number of victims who receive support
- The number of potential victims not referred into the National Referral Mechanism for support (through a mechanism called ‘duty to notify’ or ‘Modern Slavery 1 forms’)
We welcome this much-needed clause. Data can play a vital role in allowing policy-makers, journalists, researchers and NGOs to understand the barriers to preventing trafficking victims from accessing help. In particular, very little is known about the outcomes of modern slavery victims who do not have ‘regularised’ immigration status. Yet, we know that a lack of accountability has allowed more than 500 potential victims to be detained or deported last year alone. For this reason, it is vital for Government to disclose data which helps us understand how nationality or immigration status interacts with victims’ access to vital support.