Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed the Modern Slavery Bill which has been announced in the Queen’s Speech.
The Bill, which the government hopes will become law before the general election, will make it easier to prosecute modern slave drivers and put more of a focus on victims.
It is estimated there are at least 4,000 people living in slavery in the UK, many of whom have been trafficked in from abroad. It’s thought the human trafficking trade is worth £130m to the UK’s black economy.
Tony Lloyd said: “I strongly welcome the introduction of this Bill. Modern slavery is a scourge which has no place in the 21st Century. It is shocking – and scandalous – that there are thousands of people who have been trafficked into the UK and are working as slaves. They face assault, rape, and a level of degradation which would disgust all right-thinking people.
“Often these victims, most of whom are women or girls, have been treated as criminals by the system, in many cases deported back to their home countries where they have been trafficked again. This Bill can correct this terrible wrong, and ensure that victims are given the dignity and hope deprived of them by their abusers.
“Those who indulge in this vile practice will face life in jail under these new laws and victims will be entitled to reparation. This sends out the message that the UK is a country that will take a stand against this barbaric practice. Many of us have been campaigning on this issue for years, and the Home Secretary deserves praise for putting this firmly on the Government’s agenda.”