Modern Slavery Bill

The Modern Slavery Bill 2014 was introduced to the House of Commons on the 10th June 2014, read for the second time on the 8th July and is now being considered in Committee, which is scheduled to conclude on 14th October.

While we welcome the Bill as a measure towards curbing the practice of slavery and trafficking through the United Kingdom, we have concerns about the operation of two prevention powers contained in the Bill. Part 2 of the Bill was strongly criticised at the Draft Stage by the Joint Committee on the Draft Modern Slavery Bill (‘the Joint Committee’) which said that while it recognised that the measures would help combat slavery and human trafficking ‘in principle’, it disagreed that this was what the Orders would do in practice. In fact, it found the Risk Orders had ‘not been sufficiently thought through’, to the extent that it recommended they should be removed from the Bill.

The Prevention and Risk Orders proposed in the Bill have few requirements for their imposition. In particular it is difficult to see how Risk Orders will be necessary when prosecution will not. We make a number of procedural proposals in the briefing for clearly demarking the threshold criteria for orders, for clarity and certainty in conditions imposed under them and for the particular position of children who are subjected to them.