Despite the fact that slavery was abolished 180 years ago in the UK, the recent case of three women being held against their will for 30 years highlights that slavery is still alive and flourishing and that cases such as this, in an ordinary London home, could even just be the “tip of the iceberg”.
However, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, is determined to reduce its incidence and will shortly be publishing a modern slavery bill, a measure designed to increase the penalty for dealing in slaves, to life imprisonment.
The new bill will attempt to stifle the trade by streamlining the prosecution of slave owners or traffickers and the creation of an anti-slavery commissioner will add to the bill’s weight.
In addition, the newly created National Crime Agency (NCA) will be given a key role in tackling the problem, which will be targeted as no longer exclusively an international trafficking offence but one that can arise from domestic exploitation of the weak and vulnerable, such as the three women in the most recent case.
Birkenhead MP Frank Field, who is currently conducting an evidence review for Mrs May on the proposed slavery bill, said that this case highlights the need for urgent action to tackle the blight of slavery in the UK or what he called “this evil, which is taking place right under our noses.”
Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London
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