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Frank Field leads drive to abolish modern slavery
BIRKENHEAD MP Frank Field has formally launched an evidence review for the Government’s Modern Slavery Bill.
New figures released this week shockingly highlighted that at least 880,000 people are forced to work in slave labour conditions across Europe, including 270,000 victims of sexual exploitation.
Mr Field outlined the objectives of the review at the launch of the first ever Global Slavery Index at Chatham House on Thursday evening.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has asked Mr Field to lead an urgent public debate about practical and effective ways of ending modern slavery in the UK.
Evidence sessions will be held up until December and Mr Field will present a report to the Home Secretary before Christmas.
The report will scope out the content of the Bill that the Government intends to introduce in Parliament next year.
Charities, police, prosecutors, members of the judiciary, businesses and victims of slavery will be invited to give evidence.
Mr Field said: “We now have an opportunity to once again establish the United Kingdom as a global leader in the fight against slavery.
“The review will mark a decisive turning point in better protecting victims whilst turning the firepower of the state against slave owners and traffickers running this evil trade”.
Theresa May said: “We must all work together if we are to end the scourge of modern slavery and the organised criminal gangs behind it.
“I am grateful to Frank Field for undertaking this work and I know that he shares my determination to rid modern Britain of slavery.”
The objectives of the review are:
• To craft a Bill that ensures the state gets much tougher on traffickers and the powerful criminal gangs behind the modern slave trade. This includes looking at stronger jail terms and a much greater focus on seizing and confiscating illegally obtained assets.
• To plan the role of a new independent commissioner who will lead the fight against slavery in the UK.
• To develop a strategy to encourage leading multinationals to ensure that slavery and forced labour is eradicated from their supply chains.
• To draw on the very best expertise from around the world on how to most effectively combat slavery.
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