Modern Slavery Act

After receiving Royal Assent on 26 March 2015, the first provisions of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 came into effect on 31 July 2015. 

You can read more about these provisions here

The Bill was returned in 'Ping Pong' to the House of Lords on 25 March 2015, after which it was finally voted through and passed on for Royal Assent, which was given on 26 March 2015.

You can see the final version of the Bill, as enacted, by clicking here

The Bill completed Third Reading in the House of Lords on 4 March 2015, and was returned to the House of Commons with amendments on 17 March 2015. 

You can find out more about the amendments to the Bill here.

17 March 2015

The Bill completed its Committee Stage in the Lords on 10 December 2014 and is anticipated to have its Report Stage after the recess on 23 February 2015.

You can find out more information about the progress of the Bill here.

11 December 2014

The Bill successfully passed through the Commons and entered the House of Lords for its first reading on the 5 November 2014. The Second Reading Reading is due on 17 November 2014.

6 November 2014

The Bill is due to have its report stage and third reading on 4 November 2014.

More about the progress of the Bill you can find here.

14 October 2014

The Bill completed its committee stage on 14 October 2014. The text of the Modern Slavery Bill as amended in Public Bill Committee.

21 July 2014

MPs took evidence on the Modern Slavery Bill in a Public Bill Committee.

After a bill has been given a second reading, it passes on to committee stage. This can either be undertaken in a Committee of the Whole House on the floor of the Commons, or in a public bill committee.

Watch the video here

8 July 2014

The Second Reading of the Modern Slavery Bill took place on the 8th of July at the House of Commons.

To read the full text of the debate, please, click here 

10 June 2014

The Modern Slavery Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 10 June 2014.

The Bill would provide law enforcement with stronger tools to stamp out modern slavery, ensure slave drivers can receive suitably severe punishments and enhance protection of and support for victims.

The Bill includes provisions to:

·         ensure that perpetrators can receive suitably severe punishments for these appalling crimes – including life sentences

·         introduce new orders to enhance the court’s ability to place restrictions on individuals where this is necessary to protect people from the harm caused by modern slavery offences

·         create an Anti-Slavery Commissioner to improve and better coordinate the response to modern slavery

·         introduce a defence for victims of slavery and trafficking compelled to commit an offence

·         create an enabling power for child trafficking advocates

·         introduce a new reparation order to encourage the courts to compensate victims where assets are confiscated from perpetrators

·         close gaps in the law to enable the police and Border Force to stop boats where slaves are suspected of being held or trafficked

 

THE GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE REPORT FROM THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE DRAFT MODERN SLAVERY BILL 

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Home Department by Command of Her Majesty

Full text here 

 

4 June 2014 - 

Modern Slavery Bill on Protection of Victims:

 The Bill would create a statutory defence for victims of modern slavery so that those who are forced to commit an offence are not treated as criminals by the criminal justice system. The defence will not apply to serious sexual and violent offences. 
 
 The Bill would extend special measures so that all victims of modern slavery are supported through the criminal justice process. 
 
 The Bill would provide statutory guidance on victim identification and victim services. 
 
 The Bill would provide an enabling power for child advocates to support child victims of trafficking. 
 
 The Bill would create a statutory duty for public bodies including the police, local authorities and immigration personnel to notify the National Crime Agency about potential victims of modern slavery. 
 
More on the Bill in the Queen's Speech
 

4 June 2014 - 

Today, Her Majesty The Queen has announced Modern Slavery Bill and improving support to victims of such crime in her speech! This is historic -207 year wait for a new Bill on slavery!

If we are to drive modern slavery out of Britain then we need to enlist help from victims. They are the key to whereabouts of traffickers. They must feel safe and secure enough without fear of retribution either for themselves or their family, for them to ‘spill the beans’. Their welfare and ongoing support must be at the centre of the new legislation. Nor is there evidence that stiffer penalties will deter traffickers. It may not. The ability to seize and sell their assets will

Read full statement here

8 April 2014 - 

The Human Trafficking Foundation welcomes the Select Committee's report on Modern Slavery BIll published today. The Committee charged with scrutinising the UK’s proposed new anti-slavery laws says the law must be simplified and strengthened, and the focus of the legislation must shift to the victims of slavery: changes that are “morally right and fundamental to effective prosecution”. 

Read full statement and report here

March 2014 - 

Joint Select Committee's publications include Reports and associated evidence, Responses to Reports, oral and written evidence that has yet to be or is not associated with a Report (this includes transcripts of recent evidence sessions), correspondence and other material related to the work of the Committee.

30 January 2014 -

First Oral Evidence Session of the Joint Select Committee on Modern Slavery Bill. You can now watch it here.

 

January 2014Following the publication of the draft Modern Slavery Bill last month, Parliament has started its pre-legislative scrutiny process.  A Joint Select Committee has been convened to hear evidence, this process will run until mid-April after which the Committee will submit a report for the Government’s consideration before it introduces the Bill in Parliament in May.

The Joint Committee includes the following members:

a)      The Commons: Fiona Bruce MP (Con), Michael Connarty MP (Lab), Fiona Mactaggart MP (Lab), Sir John Randall MP (Con), Caroline Spelman MP (Con), Sir Andrew Stunnell MP (Lib-Dem) and Frank Field MP (Lab).

b)      The Lords: Baroness Butler-Sloss (Crossbench), the Bishop of Derby, Baroness Hanham (Con) , Lord McColl of Dulwich (Con), Baroness Doocey (Lib-Dem), Lord Warner (Lab) and Baroness Kennedy of Cradley (Lab)

For details of the Joint Select Committee’s programme, members and contact information, please check here

The Joint Committee has already published its Call for Written Evidence "Have your say on the Draft Modern Slavery Bill". The deadline for the submission for written evidence is Monday 10 February.

 

Previous:

In August 2013 the Home Secretary, Theresa May, announced the Government's intention to introduce a new Modern Slavery Bill aimed at bringing together, in a single Act, all legislative measures to counter human trafficking. The Draft Bill was published on the 16th December 2013 which also marked the launch of a report of the Modern Slavery Bill evidence review. This report was commissioned by the Home Secretary, and was the result of a series of evidence sessions led by Rt Hon Frank Field MP, with the support of Lady Butler-Sloss and Sir John Randall MP. Frank Field's review committee collected oral evidence from 73 witnesses and engaged the sector more widely to collect further written evidence. The findings of this report unveiled the views and concerns of those working at the coalface of human trafficking  - both in the UK and overseas - and clarified what changes the government needs to introduce to more effectively tackle modern-day slavery. Some of the recommended changes will require primary legislation, others only a review of current policies. Hopefully, this initial evidence will inform both the pre-legislative scrutiny process for the Modern Slavery Bill and the government's longer term response to human trafficking.

Next steps: Shortly after Christmas the draft bill will go to a select committee formed of 12 members – 6 from the House of Commons, 6 from the House of Lords plus a chairman. Both Houses will have only a few months to gather evidence and produce a pre-legislative report, listing all changes in law and polices that need to take place. The aim here is to ensure that the bill is introduced as part of this session by speeding up the select committee process, so that it can be announced in the Queen's Speech in May 2014 and brought forward into the next parliamentary session. After the select committee, the Home Secretary will make the final decision as to what the bill should contain and there will be a parliamentary process, including a first reading, a second reading and a committed stage, which will provide an opportunity for both Houses to propose amendments. Once the bill comes back from Houses, there will be a report stage, when further amendments can be made and finally a third reading. At that point a balance will need to be struck between what we ideally want and the compromises we need to make in order to get the bill through.