People are not property. People do not exist to be bought and sold. People should not be deceived, kidnapped, held against their will, abused, exploited, trapped, forced to work without pay, sometimes to the point of death.
It’s unbelievable that this needs to be said. Yet right now, an estimated 45 million people are trapped in modern slavery in the world - from forced labour and child slavery, to women and girls forced into sex work or marriage. And it’s happening in the UK. In 2017, a total of 5,145 potential victims of modern slavery were recorded in this country, a 35% increase from the year before.
Despite this, our laws are shockingly ill equipped to deal with the problem, and in England and Wales victims are guaranteed just 45 days of support. Although the government has promised to increase this, it’s not for long enough - leaving victims at risk of becoming homeless, and vulnerable to being re-trafficked.
‘The Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill’ seeks to change this. If passed, it would require the government to provide of year of guaranteed support to victims - including a safe place to stay, access to medical treatment, mental health support, legal advice, training, education and most importantly someone to walk alongside them as they figure out their next steps in rebuilding their life.
But this law will only pass if enough MPs vote for it. Stand with victims of modern slavery: send a message asking your local MP to support it!