Executive Briefings

Britain Mulls Law to Rescue Modern Slaves From Net of Abuse

Support for victims of modern slavery should be enshrined in law to bolster piecemeal care that leaves survivors open to abuse and repeat trafficking, British charities said on Wednesday.

People who say they have been enslaved can enter the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and access counseling, housing and legal aid while the government decides whether to recognize them as victims.

Yet those who are identified as victims then have no guarantee of further help, and campaigners say this leaves charities scrambling to ward off the knock-on risk of homelessness, destitution or fresh exploitation.

A proposed law — put forward by parliament’s unelected upper chamber — would allow such survivors to remain in Britain for a year and receive a support package while deciding whether to apply to remain indefinitely, or accept help to return home.

“People need a meaningful recovery period to give them the chance to rebuild their lives and decide what to do next,” Kate Roberts of the Human Trafficking Foundation said at the launch of a campaign at parliament backing the private members’ bill.

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People who say they have been enslaved can enter the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and access counseling, housing and legal aid while the government decides whether to recognize them as victims.

Yet those who are identified as victims then have no guarantee of further help, and campaigners say this leaves charities scrambling to ward off the knock-on risk of homelessness, destitution or fresh exploitation.

A proposed law — put forward by parliament’s unelected upper chamber — would allow such survivors to remain in Britain for a year and receive a support package while deciding whether to apply to remain indefinitely, or accept help to return home.

“People need a meaningful recovery period to give them the chance to rebuild their lives and decide what to do next,” Kate Roberts of the Human Trafficking Foundation said at the launch of a campaign at parliament backing the private members’ bill.

Read full article