Thank you for contacting me about modern slavery.
As I am sure you are aware, the Modern Slavery Act has played a key role in transforming the UK’s response to modern slavery on a national and international level. The Act provides police and law enforcement agencies with the necessary powers to bring perpetrators to justice and enhance the protection of victims. You may be interested to know that the Act has resulted in a significant increase in law enforcement activity against the criminals behind this abhorrent crime. I understand that more than 600 live investigations are currently taking place.
The Government has established this country as a world leader in the fight against modern slavery. However, criminal networks are constantly finding new ways to exploit and control victims. I was alarmed by recent Home Office research which highlighted the devastating economic and social costs of modern slavery. It is estimated that modern slavery costs the UK up to £4.3 billion a year and each modern slavery crime is second only to homicide in terms of harm to its victims and society.
I welcome the fact that the Government has announced plans to launch a cross-party independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This will not only enhance the Act where necessary, but also aims to strengthen and accelerate the efforts of Government and business alike to eradicate this terrible crime.
You may be pleased to know that Frank Field, the sponsor of this Private Member’s Bill, has been asked to be part of the team which will lead the independent review into the working of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act.
I look forward to the independent review being established which will undertake vital work to ensure the UK keeps up with developments in this ever-evolving exploitative crime.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP