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Foreign Policy Foreign Policy

Lead the fight against modern slavery

Last updated: 02:26pm 8 December 2019

We will lead the fight against modern slavery, just as we overcame the trade in slaves two hundred years ago.



Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.38

Our verdict

According to a 2018 Home Office report, modern slavery costs the UK up to £4.3 billion a year, and affects up to 13,000 people. This policy is a pledge to lead the fight against modern slavery.

In September 2017, the Prime Minister launched a Call to Action to End Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery and Forced Labour at the UN General Assembly, securing endorsement from 37 countries (and reaching 90 countries by 2019). In addition, the government committed to double official development assistance spending to £150 million to tackle modern slavery internationally.

In September 2018, the government worked with international partners to develop a set of principles to tackle modern slavery in global supply chains. The principles were announced at the UN General Assembly, to encourage their adoption by other countries. Also that year, the UK signed agreements with countries including Pakistan and Vietnam.

In May 2019, an independent parliamentary group published the results of its review into the Modern Slavery Act, commissioned by the government in July 2018 to ensure that UK legislation remains world-leading. The government responded in July 2019, accepting some recommendations and launching a consultation into transparency in supply chains.

UK efforts have been endorsed by 90 countries, the government has reviewed its regulatory framework and worked with other nations to develop new standards. We think there’s enough to say the UK has played a “leading” role, so this policy is ‘done’.

Lead with the facts!

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