Disappointing reply from the Government as it declines to support the McColl/Duncan-Smith Modern Slavery (Victims) Bill but a promise to look “very closely” at the current legislative provision.
Baroness Williams of Trafford, the Home Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL9004):
Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have planned any events or activities to mark the UK Anti-Slavery Day 2020; and whether they will support the passage of the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill through Parliament. (HL9004)
Tabled on: 12 October 2020
Baroness Williams of Trafford:
This year we marked Anti-Slavery Day by publishing the UK Modern Slavery Annual Report 2020, which provides an update on work undertaken over the last year to tackle the scourge of modern slavery. Minister Atkins hosted a virtual roundtable event with First Responder organisations to hear about best practice and the key challenges First Responders face. A wide range of stakeholder events around October 18 raised awareness of modern slavery, and the work underway to tackle it.
Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill:
The Government is committed to identifying and supporting victims of modern slavery and has recently established an ambitious programme to transform our system of victim identification and support. As part of this, we are looking closely at the legislative framework in this area.
The Government does not, however, support the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill in its current form and has different proposals for supporting victims based on a more individualised understanding of their cases and needs. Specifically, the Government does not agree that:
a. confirmed victims should be automatically granted leave to remain for 12 months. Immigration decisions for victims of modern slavery are made on a case-by-case basis, considering the individual circumstances of the case; nor
b. that entitling all confirmed victims to 12 months’ worth of support is the best approach. In 2019 the Government introduced a needs-based support system for confirmed victims of modern slavery. The Government recognises that all victims are individuals with their own personal recovery needs arising from their modern slavery experiences. The new needs-based assessment system has been developed to ensure that individual needs are considered and supported with a tailored move-on plan, rather than a blanket approach to victim support.
Date and time of answer: 26 Oct 2020 at 16:59.