Equipping Christians for the 2016 Elections

Wales-Human Trafficking

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Human Trafficking

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Human trafficking, a form of modern day slavery, involves the recruitment, transport or accommodation of someone for the purpose of exploitation.  People are trafficked into prostitution, labour (eg. agriculture, fisheries and construction) domestic servitude or forced criminality (begging, cannabis cultivation, etc). There are thought to be 35.8 million people in modern day slavery globally.[1] 

The Home Office has estimated that there were 10,000 – 13,000 victims of modern day slavery in the UK in 2013.[2]  About a quarter of the people trafficked in the UK are children and many victims are British people exploited within our own country. [3]

Recently the Anti-Slavery Leadership Group, led by the Welsh Government’s Anti-Slavery Coordinator has established a “survivor care pathway” across Wales to help ensure that survivors have access to support and services during the initial reflection and recover period and afterwards.

Wales has largely been dependent on anti-trafficking laws passed in Westminster, the most recent being the Modern Slavery Act 2015.  However, it is within the remit of the Welsh Assembly to address the weakest aspect of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 – victim care.   There are three positive changes to victim care which the new Welsh Assembly could make:

  1. Legal guarantee of support. Unlike the new legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Modern Slavery Act gives no guarantee to provide support and assistance to victims in their initial recovery. CARE would like to see the Assembly introduce its own legislation to do this
  2. Longer initial support. CARE also believes that the 45 day initial reflection and recovery period is too short. We are calling on the Welsh Government to provide victims for support for 90 days as recommended by the UN and most NGOs. [4]
  3. Independent child trafficking advocates. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 contains a clause to provide specialist child trafficking advocates for trafficked children. Despite overall positive findings in a trial scheme, and the fact that Scotland and Northern Ireland have already provided for statutory advocates, the Westminster Government has delayed implementation of this section of the Act, pending revisions and further trials which CARE is not at all persuaded are necessary.  If the Westminster Government has not implemented a statutory child trafficking advocates scheme by May, the new Welsh Assembly should take action to make sure support for children in Wales is as robust as in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Questions for Candidates

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    1. If elected will you promote legislation to guarantee support and assistance to victims in an initial reflection and recovery period (bringing Wales into line with Scotland and Northern Ireland)?
    2. If elected will you promote an extension of the reflection and recovery period of support for trafficking victims as recommended by the UN?
    3. If elected will you promote the survivor care pathway and ensure all local and national agencies are equipped to provide victims with support for their long term rehabilitation?
    4. If the Westminster Government does not commence the Modern Slavery Act provisions by May, will you press for legislation in the Welsh Assembly to provide independent child trafficking advocates in Wales giving trafficked children the same protection as in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

[1] Global Slavery Index 2014, Walkfree Foundation

[2] Home Office Modern Slavery Strategy November 2014. Modern day slavery statistics cover both victims of trafficking and forced labour

[3] 2015 Report of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Modern Slavery

[4] 90 days has been long recommended by leading international NGOs and by the UN in 2011