How can we secure justice for victims of modern slavery?
Monday, 05 October 2020, 10:00 - 11:00
Modern slavery is a brutal form of serious and often organised crime where the most vulnerable men, women and children are abused for criminal profit, with many victims forced to live and work in squalid conditions for little or no pay. They are controlled and coerced with threats and abuse, and often have no means of escape. Many people would think that we confined slavery to history books back in 19th century, but this is not true.
Our recent report It Still Happens Here: Fighting UK Slavery in the 2020s published in July 2020 found that:
- There could be at least 100,000 victims of slavery in the UK – ten times more than the number of victims identified and referred to the NRM for support in 2019.
- As the number of victims discovered has skyrocketed in the last five years, convictions have barely increased. The number of victims is disproportionately high compared to the number of traffickers put behind bars.
- Victims are often being failed by the support services. Good care and support for the exploited is not a luxury extra or just ‘the right thing to do’ – it bolsters the fight against organised crime.
- Bringing more perpetrators to justice is essential if we are to tackle the crime. At the moment modern slavery is low risk, high reward. This has to change.
It is in this context that the CSJ bought together an expert panel to discuss how we can secure justice for victims of modern slavery.
Chair: Julie Etchingham
Julie Anne Etchingham is a journalist and television newsreader with ITV News.
Caroline Haughey QC OBE
Caroline Haughey is a criminal barrister who successfully prosecuted the first cases under the Modern Slavery Act
Dame Sara Thornton DBE, QPM
Dame Sara Joanne Thornton is the current UK's Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP
Karen Bradley is a Conservative MP who is the Co-Chair of the APPG on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
Christian is the CEO of Justice and Care, a global anti-trafficking charity