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what we do to tackle slavery in the uk

Anti-Slavery International has been campaigning on modern slavery in the UK for years with many noticeable successes in changing the legislation to protect the victims, improving the practice of authorities in responding to the crime and raising awareness amongst the public and the decision makers alike.

Anti-Slavery’s advocacy work focuses principally on obtaining policy and practice changes that will increase protection for people who have been trafficked into all forms of forced labour or sexual exploitation.

Following our and our partners’ campaigning and lobbying work the government adopted two important pieces of international legislation laying down foundations for its anti-slavery policies: the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings in 2005 and in 2011 – after our campaign– opted in to the European Union Trafficking Directive.

Another crucial success came in June 2010. Following a campaign by Anti-Slavery and Liberty, the UK Parliament introduced forced labour as a criminal offence under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. This meant that forced labour could also be looked at as a separate offence to those connected to trafficking foreign nationals into the UK from abroad.

To monitor how the governments implements both acts we joined the coalition of nine organisations to form the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group (ATMG). The group already published three major reports, as well as numerous briefings, which significantly influenced the government’s response to modern slavery.

The testament to years of our work on raising awareness of the importance of the issue was introducing the Modern Slavery Act in March 2015. The Act is a step in the right direction, consolidating slavery related offences, protecting trafficked people from prosecution for offences they were forced to commit, introducing child trafficking advocates and making big companies report on what they do to tackle slavery in their supply chains.

However, many issues relating particularly to identification of the victims and providing them with apropriate protection remain unresolved, to which end we launched our Victim Protection Campaign.

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portrait of Louisiana"They made me water cannabis plants to pay off the debt."                         
Read Hai's* story


portrait of Jiera  "I was trafficked  from my home country Lithuania when I was 17."
Read her story

©Karen Robinson/Panos Pictures