The Home Affairs Committee is currently running an inquiry looking at what progress has been made in the three years since the Modern Slavery Act came into force and what more remains to be done.

On Tuesday 15 January, James Robottom was on a panel of experts giving evidence to the committee. He joined:

  • Mark Burns-Williamson OBE, Police and Crime Commissioner, West Yorkshire and Chair, National Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Network
  • Rob Jones, Lead on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, National Crime Agency
  • Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, Devon and Cornwall Police and Lead for Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, National Police Chiefs Council
  • Baljit Ubhey, Director of Prosecution Policy and Inclusion, Crown Prosecution Service
  • Victoria Marks, Director, Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit
  • Philippa Southwell, Consultant Solicitor – Advocate, Birds Solicitors
  • Nusrat Uddin, Solicitor, Wilson Solicitors LLP

The experts covered a range of issues including victims’ access to legal support and the criminalisation of victims. This included:

  • Improvements to and increases in police activity on slavery and trafficking
  • Challenges facing the policing and prosecuting of modern slavery cases
  • Criminalisation of victims, and county lines
  • Legal support for victims and access to compensation
  • Implications of the Modern Slavery Act, and recent High Court judgments

James’ evidence particularly concerned issues with the drafting of the slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour, and human trafficking offences under s.1 and 2 of the Act, and the possible amendment of the Act to include a statutory tort. James’ written evidence can be found on the Committee website.

The committee will hear further evidence in the coming weeks.

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