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Foreign Policy Foreign Policy

Combat the slave trade

Last updated: 04:12pm 29 November 2019

We will work to end the subjugation and mutilation of women, to combat the brutal slave trade in fellow human beings and to prevent catastrophic environmental degradation.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.39

Our verdict

Britain passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, focused on the kidnap and transatlantic transportation of African people, more than 200 years ago. Slavery and slave trading did not end at that point. Slavery in its more modern form persists both globally and in the UK. On any given day in 2016 there were an estimated 40.3 million people enslaved around the world. The UK passed the Modern Slavery Act in 2015 in an attempt to combat the slave trade (human trafficking for the purposes of slavery, servitude or forced labour). Nevertheless, in 2018 nearly 7,000 potential victims of modern slavery were recorded in the UK.

This policy is a promise to “combat the brutal slave trade”. To measure it, we are looking for government work aimed at fighting modern slavery and human trafficking at home and abroad.

Since the 2017 general election, the government has worked in partnership with countries such as Albania, Nigeria and Poland, to raise awareness of the dangers of trafficking and to support victims. At home, the government has asked CEOs to reveal the extent of slavery in their supply chains, invested in developing a centre for research into modern slavery, and introduced reforms to support services and the national referral mechanism for identifying and referring victims.

The government has evidently continued to fight against modern slavery and the slave trade both at home and internationally. This policy is ‘done’.

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