Let's Make Slavery A Thing Of The Past

At the end of 2013 the Government published its draft Modern Slavery Bill. It is the first draft Bill of its kind in Europe and will for the first time bring together the criminal offences of human trafficking and forced labour, slavery and servitude.

As the British Conservative MEP responsible for anti-human trafficking and anti- slavery legislation in the European Parliament, I think it is absolutely right that the Conservative-led Government is taking such a strong position in the UK on slavery.

Over the coming weeks, here on my website, you will be able to access a personal response to the draft Bill with my thoughts and comments and a timeline of how we expect the Bill to progress.

I will update this page and provide useful information on this groundbreaking piece of legislation.

To start off with here is a link to the Bill.

Thursday 30 January 2014

The Joint Committee on the Draft Modern Slavery Bill Committee takes evidence from legal experts to consider how to define the term "modern slavery" within legislation. Expert witnesses, Riel Karmy-Jones (Barrister, Red Lion Chambers) and Professor Jean Allain (School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast) were called.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

I was keen to remember the deaths of 23 Chinese immigrants in Morecambe Bay today. Here is my speech.

Christian Guy of the Centre for Social Justice ran with the same theme in an article for The Spectator, here.

Sunday 16 February 2014

The Steve McQueen film 12 Years A Slave wins the BAFTA for Best Film. In his acceptance speech the Director says: "There are 21 million people in slavery now as we sit here. I just hope that 150 years from now our ambivalence will not allow another film-maker to make this film."

The film, which is based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup who was kidnapped and held as a slave in the 1840s, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch. It was produced by Brad Pitt. Many are predicting that the film will do well at the Oscars on March 2nd.

Monday 17 February 2014

Here are some of the measures contained within the draft Modern Slavery Bill:

  • The new bill would provide for automatic life sentences for offenders with prior convictions for very serious sexual or violent offences;
  • The draft bill would create a new post of anti-slavery commissioner to hold law enforcement and other organisations to account;
  • The bill would also include Trafficking Prevention Orders to restrict the activity and movement of convicted traffickers and stop them from committing further offences.

Do you think these are a step in the right direction? Please send me your comments to timothy.kirkhope@europarl.europa.eu under the subject: DRAFT SLAVERY BILL.