Modern Slavery Act 2015 Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate

Modern Slavery Act 2015

Christine Jardine Excerpts
Thursday 26th October 2017

(3 years, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Lord Coaker Portrait Vernon Coaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

26 Oct 2017, 12:59 p.m.

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that absolutely crucial issue. Often at the end of the statutory 45-day period of reflection, there is a period of further support that people may be given, but the evidence shows that the vast majority of people who enter into that fall back into exploitation or are re-trafficked. Something needs to be done to deal with this.

The police say that they have often referred the same individual into the national referral mechanism multiple times.

Christine Jardine Portrait Christine Jardine (Edinburgh West) (LD)
- Hansard - -

26 Oct 2017, 12:52 p.m.

With regard to tracing perpetrators, and indeed achieving all our anti-slavery aims, throughout the UK, including in Scotland, how will these processes continue to function effectively—or will they function effectively at all—once we have left the EU, given that that is likely to mean that we will also have left intelligence-sharing agencies such as Europol and Eurojust?

Lord Coaker Portrait Vernon Coaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

26 Oct 2017, 12:53 p.m.

I very much agree that there will be real challenges for the system in leaving Europol, Eurojust, and the other systems involved. As the debate progresses, we will have to ensure that if we do leave the European Union, as the hon. Lady says, we look to see how we replicate those systems within whatever deal is done. That is crucial for these victims. I totally agree with her point.

We have heard that each time survivors have left safe houses, they were made destitute again and targeted by traffickers. How destructive and destroying that is for the police, but also life-destroying for those survivors. We have to accept that the short-term system of support fails us all and we all need to look—the police, Government, all of us—at what more we do for victims. A refugee granted asylum receives five years of leave to remain in the United Kingdom. Surely if a person has been recognised as being enslaved, that should entitle them to some sort of similar provision, if not for five years.