Lush is supporting After Exploitation, who are calling on Boris to scrap cuts to modern slavery support under Nationality and Borders Bill
MP ACTION: Link to the #ScrapPart5 MP action
Lush is joining forces with more than 40 leading modern slavery charities and law firms from today, calling on Part 5 of the Nationality and Borders Bill to be scrapped. An eye-catching display will be on offer across Lush’s UK shop fronts between 28th February and 6th March, as the shop boosts the ‘Scrap Part 5’ MP action with a shop-front takeover from non-profit After Exploitation.
Under Part 5, due to be debated in the House of Lords this week, survivors of modern slavery would no longer be guaranteed a right to support (such as safe housing, counselling, or financial subsistence). Meanwhile Part 5 would also see certain ‘types’ of victims, such as those with a criminal conviction or barriers to sharing abuse ‘quickly enough’, subject to new bans from support.
Each of Lush’s 101 store fronts across the UK will carry the slogan: “Don’t let the Government rip up support for modern slavery survivors”, alongside a QR code and URL, so that customers can quickly and easily take part in the Scrap Part 5 action. The landing page allows members of the public to email their MP a list of concerns about Part 5 with just the click of a button. The action takes 1 minute to complete.
The action, led by non-profit After Exploitation and supported by charities such as Women’s Institute and Women for Refugee Women, is hoped to embolden peers in the House of Lords to push back against the damaging changes at Report Stage. Conservative, cross-bench, Lib Dem and Labour peers have universally condemned the measures as ‘regrettable’ at Committee Stage.
After Exploitation x Lush
Maya Esslemont, Director of After Exploitation said:
“With these controversial modern slavery changes due to be debated by the Lords any day this week, Lush couldn’t have announced their support for #ScrapPart5 at a more pivotal time for survivors. We only have a matter of days to stop the Government from introducing new exemptions, which would punish survivors of criminal exploitation and take support away from those too traumatised to share details of their abuse ‘fast enough’.”
“We know that there is no debate to ‘win’. Part 5 is simply wrong. Now, with Lush’s support, we can reach people up and down the country to mobilise the public awareness needed to Scrap Part 5.”
Hilary Jones, Ethics Director at Lush, said:
“Modern day slavery is still a reality in supply chains, both in the UK and worldwide, and companies have rightly been required to put in extra measures to root it out. It is therefore crucially important that once victims have been identified they are able to access the help and support they need to get their life back.
Now is NOT the time to reduce Government support for these incredibly vulnerable and abused individuals.”
Ann Jones, Chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, said:
“The WI is extremely concerned that proposed changes in Part 5 of the Nationality and Borders Bill will cause serious harm to the fight against modern slavery. We believe that the Bill as it stands is likely to make it more difficult to identify victims of modern slavery and make it harder for them to access lifesaving support.
With victims of modern slavery being exploited by criminal traffickers across the UK, often hidden in plain sight, the government must Scrap Part 5 of the Bill or risk leaving thousands more victims facing continued abuse and destitution.”
About Part 5
Part 5 is a cluster of measures in the Nationality and Borders Bill which would restrict support for survivors of trafficking (currently being debated in the House of Lords). These exemptions and restrictions include:
Under Part 5, the Home Office would be able to remove support from survivors – even when they can evidence their exploitation – if details of abuse are shared ‘too late’.
Recovery from abuse does not follow a convenient timeline. Survivors need time to share details, as they may fear retaliation from traffickers, the risk of deportation, or the system itself due to struggles accessing a support worker or lawyer.
Restrictions on help
As well as the trauma deadline, survivors with a sentence of 12 months would be banned from accessing support. This would remove as many as half of victims from official channels, as 49% of survivors are forced to commit a crime as a result of their exploitation.
Part 5 would also give the Government new powers to provide support and immigration protections to survivors of modern slavery only where ‘necessary’ rather than as a guarantee.
For spokesperson or broadcast opportunities, please contact the below.
Useful links on Part 5:
- The Scrap Part 5 MP action – It only takes 30 seconds to tell your MP that modern slavery survivors deserve more support, not less
- About Part 5 – A longer briefing by After Exploitation with the support of a dozen human rights organisations including Anti Slavery International
- What’s happening in the Lords?– An overview on Part 5 and the response to our concerns in the House of Lords
- Protecting child victims – A blog by one of our #ScrapPart5 charity partners, ECPAT, on the impact of Part 5 on exploited children
- The trauma deadline: Lily’s story – Lily is a campaigner and expert by experience. She worked with us and the Big Issue, explaining why she would have missed out on help had Part 5 applied to her
About After Exploitation
After Exploitation is a volunteer-led organisation that investigates hidden data on what happens to survivors after leaving exploitation.
The group has uncovered cases where UK-based survivors have been locked behind bars in immigration detention, because of their nationality, as well as cases where suspected survivors have not been passed on for support.
The group uses Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for much of its work, and supports charities and grassroots activists hoping to submit their own.
Lush invent, manufacture and retail fresh handmade cosmetics. A beauty company with a campaigning heart, Lush is passionate about direct action and uses their stores around the world as a platform to shed light on little known social and environmental issues.