Britain published Europe’s first Modern Slavery Bill to address slavery in 21st century

Jun 12, 2014 16:16 IST

Britain on 10 June 2014 published the world's first Modern Slavery Bill. The Bill was published by the Home Secretary Theresa May in the House of Commons. The Bill provides for life imprisonment if a person was involved in the heinous crime of trade in human beings.

The Bill is first of its kind in Europe and one of its first in the world. It for the first time specifically address slavery and trafficking in the 21st century.

The main components of the bill are:

•    The Bill will increase the maximum sentence available for the most serious offenders from 14 years to life imprisonment.
•    Those who have a previous conviction for a serious sexual or violent offence will face an automatic life sentence.
•    It also introduces Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders and Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders to restrict the activity of individuals where they pose a risk of causing harm.

•    The bill also called upon to create a new Anti-Slavery Commissioner. It will drive an improved and more coordinated law enforcement response at all levels and it will work in the interests of victims.
•    The bill will work upon to strengthen law enforcement powers at sea to close loopholes.  

The Modern Slavery Bill will ensure the protection and support to the victims by:

•    Giving the courts new powers to order perpetrators of slavery and trafficking to pay Reparation Orders to their victims
•    Extending special measures so that all victims of modern slavery including servitude and forced labour can be supported through the criminal justice process
•    Providing statutory guidance on victim identification and victim services
•    Providing an enabling power for child advocates to support child victims of trafficking
•    Creating a statutory duty for public bodies including the police, local authorities and immigration personnel to notify the National Crime Agency about potential victims of modern slavery

Global Slavery in 21st century

According to the report of UN, there are almost 21 million people around the world held as slaves. It is estimated that there are as many as 4000 people enslaved in the UK alone.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimated that the profits of traffickers worldwide are in excess of 32 billion US dollar each year.

Indian and Modern day slavery

According to the recent Global Slavery Index released in 2013, India was ranked 4th worst country indulging in modern day slavery and human trafficking.

The first ever Global Slavery Index found that between 13300000 and 14700000 are enslaved in India. It implied that India is home to nearly half of the world's entire number of 30 million slaves worldwide.

India stands fourth as per proportion but right on top of this shameful list when it comes to absolute numbers.

 

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