The Commission welcomes this opportunity to provide its analysis of the important draft Modern Slavery Bill. Our response focuses principally on how the proposals align with equality and human rights law.
For the reasons below, we consider that some provisions need to be extended or added to provide the necessary legal protection for victims of trafficking and to enable the UK to meet its obligations under international and domestic human rights law within England and Wales.
The Bill seeks to consolidate and simplify existing slavery and trafficking offences. In our view the aims should be to enable the UK to have a comprehensive and consistent legislative framework which is capable of prosecuting and penalising traffickers, as recommended by our Inquiry, to ensure that all possible trafficking activities are criminalised and to make law enforcement and prosecution decisions as clear-cut and effective as possible.
We acknowledge the imperative to keep the provisions of the Bill targeted and focussed, but consider that further offences are necessary to avoid the gap between the requirements of the Directive and the Convention and the Bill. For a full analysis download the briefings.
Last updated: 05 May 2016