Welcome for new law to end scandal of 21st Century slavery

04-Jun-2014 @ 13:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Draft legislation to counter modern-day slavery represents a declaration of intent to stop a 21st Century scandal which degrades us all, a senior Conservative MEP said today.

Timothy Kirkhope the Conservative MEP for Yorkshire said: "This bill will seek to redefine slavery in a way that reflects the cruel realities of the 21stCentury...and it will aim to expunge a stain on mankind by stopping the vicious treatment by some of their fellow humans.

"It is nearly 200 years now since Yorkshire's own William Wilberforce drove through legislation which he thought had abolished slavery forever. Sadly, modern times have brought insidious new forms of slavery...forms which Wilberforce never imagined and which his Act is powerless to stop.

As a former Home Office Minister and Conservative spokesman in the European Parliament on justice and civil liberties, Mr Kirkhope has been involved in shaping policy and legislation in this field for almost a decade now.

He said: "I have seen the problem of human trafficking and slavery grow into the complex, deep- rooted problem we face today. While such slavery is allowed to exist, it degrades us all.

"So I welcome the draft Bill's focus on domestic servitude and forced labour. I believe that it will provide clarity to judges on sentencing...and criminals will know what they face if they are found guilty of the trafficking and enslavement of victims."Through tackling all aspects of people trafficking and slavery, we are sending out a clear message that we will no longer tolerate the practice of treating a human being as a commodity for financial gain.

"Our Conservative- led Government is putting in place all the right weapons to end slavery once and for all: tough criminal laws: a firm migration policy, rigorous regulation of the labour markets and very practical measures which will help identify and assist victims.

"As part of this organised approach, we will also be giving training in spotting potential trafficking victims to key staff such as air cabin crew on aircrafts and healthcare professionals. Only such a concerted, co-ordinated effort will end this scourge."  

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