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Foreign Policy Foreign Policy

Push the United Nations and other international bodies to end Modern Slavery

Last updated: 09:02pm 25 November 2019

And the UK will use its power to push the United Nations and other international bodies to make Modern Slavery a thing of the past.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.41

Our verdict

The government defines “modern slavery” as:

“the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of children, women or men through the use of force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation. It is a crime under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and it includes holding a person in a position of slavery, servitude, and forced or compulsory labour, or facilitating their travel with the intention of exploiting them soon after.”

Analysis by the National Crime Agency reveals that modern slavery is increasing, with 6,993 potential victims in 2018, up from 3,804 in 2016.

In September 2017, the Prime Minister hosted a Call to Action to End Human Trafficking, Modern Slavery and Forced Labour at the UN General Assembly, securing endorsements from 37 countries across the world. Moreover, the government announced its plans to double official development assistance spend to £150 million to tackle modern slavery internationally.

In September 2018, the government presented its annual report on modern slavery at an event hosted by the Secretary of State for International Development. Here, various countries showcased  progress they had made in improving their own responses to modern slavery.

According to the 2019 UK annual report on modern slavery, the 2017 Call to Action has now been endorsed by almost 90 countries.

The UN says there are still approximately 40 million people worldwide forced into modern slavery. While slavery is not a thing of the past, the UK has been a key actor in pushing the United Nations and other international bodies to take action to tackle it. This policy is ‘done’.

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