Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary, took the quiet summer Parliamentary recess to launch her attack on “modern day slavery”; a tiresome, over-emotive phrase which functions as political speak for human trafficking. While the contents of her Bill have yet to be released, the press briefings on this proposed legislation promise a number of significant anti-trafficking mechanisms, though information about the actual substance of the proposals is thin. Firstly, the introduction of trafficking prevention orders, which would function like sexual offence prevention orders, so that an individual convicted of trafficking offences “cannot simply go back to being a gangmaster”. Secondly, the creation of a Modern Slavery Commissioner, an interesting U-turn as the Government appeared hostile to the idea of a Commissioner, previously arguing that the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group covered the tasks proposed under such a post and that there were no plans to create this a distinct role. Such a post would, however, increase UK compliance with the EU Directive on Human Trafficking, a positive step forward. Thirdly, the harmonisation of existing trafficking offences, which are currently scattered across a number of Acts, into a single piece of legislation. Finally, the Bill has the noble aim to “seek a commitment from companies not to use slave labour”. (more…)
This week we welcome back Rebecca Surtees. Rebecca is Senior Researcher at NEXUS Institute, an international human rights research and policy center in Washington, DC. NEXUS Institute is dedicated to combating human trafficking as well as other human rights abuses. This post is written in conjunction with a newly released report on developing common ethical principles within anti-trafficking re/integration.
In the Balkan region, human trafficking continues to be a pressing issue. One central aspect of anti-trafficking work is re/integration; the process of recovery and economic and social inclusion following a trafficking experience. Re/integration services are often key to trafficked persons’ ability to recover and move on with their lives. And yet few organisations and programmes have developed ethical principles according to which their re/integration work is implemented, monitored and evaluated. (more…)