The UK Home Office published a new report this week that estimates that modern slavery costs the country up to £4.3 billion a year. This breaks down to each instance of the crime costing around £330,000 when support, lost earnings, and law enforcement costs are factored in.
Related Campaign: Help trafficked children in the UK.
The findings prompted the Home Office to announce that it will review the effectiveness of the UK Modern Slavery Act passed in 2015.
The Guardian reports:
Publishing the report, the Home Office said it would launch a review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, led by the Labour MP Frank Field, the Tory MP Maria Miller and the crossbench peer and former high court judge Lady Butler-Sloss.
Butler-Sloss said: “The exploitation and enslaving of men, women and children across the world and within the UK is one of the most shocking crimes and one of the most profitable. The Modern Slavery Act is a splendid piece of legislation but it is very important to review how well it is being implemented and how it could be improved.”
The review will examine the nature of modern slavery offences, provisions for legal access and compensation to victims and improving the support given to child victims.
The review will also look at what else can be done to strengthen the legislation and minimise the risk that goods and services available in the UK are produced through forced labour and slavery.
“This awful crime is evolving, it is our responsibility as citizens, businesses and governments to do all we can to stop exploitation,” added crime minister Victoria Atkins.
“This independent review will help us identify what more we can do to tackle this terrible, global injustice by enhancing the Modern Slavery Act where necessary.”
In addition to reviewing anti-slavery legislation, the Home Office confirmed that it would spend £2m to expand the Independent Child Trafficking Advocates (ICTAs) scheme, which helps child victims of human trafficking.
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