Impact on identifying and supporting victims of modern slavery and human trafficking

The Nationality and Borders Bill implements the proposals in the New Plan for Immigration consultation paper. Primarily focused on reforming the asylum system it also includes proposals to amend the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and support for victims of modern slavery of all nationalities. We welcome the Government’s continued commitment to tackling modern slavery, including the inclusion of victim support in legislation. However, the detail of the Bill leaves significant risks that modern slavery victims will not be identified or supported, their vital intelligence lost, leaving the door open for organised criminal networks to continue operating with impunity. There is an opportunity to amend the Bill to further the fight against slavery and maintain our legacy of the world leading Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA). Our concerns are in three key areas: identification and credibility, support and protection during the NRM and leave to remain for confirmed victims. Caution is also needed to avoid the general asylum reform having an unintended negative impact on the identification and protection of modern slavery victims.

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