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REX/Elena Perlino
UK News

Christian charity calls for trafficking victim support

They're debating the bill in the House of Lords today, including any changes that need to be made to it.

At the moment, human trafficking victims are guaranteed support in law in Northern Ireland, however this statutory right does not currently exist in the England and Wales' proposals.

In Northern Ireland, victims of human trafficking are entitled to 45 days victim support in law, with the Northern Ireland Department of Health allowed to decide if that period should be extended without the government allowing to interfere.

Scotland's proposed Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill includes a clause which makes victim support a legal requirement.

Previous amendments to the Modern Slavery Bill would allow the Home Secretary to provide support for human trafficking victims, however CARE argues this does not go far enough and the law needs to make this support compulsory, rather than discretionary.

CARE is calling for a trafficking victim's legal entitlement to support to include safe accommodation from their traffickers, medical support, and help readjusting to normal life.

Louise Gleich, from the organisation, told Premier's News Hour: "Victims are really important. This is a ground-breaking piece of legislation; there hasn't been one for nearly 200 years that puts all of these slavery provisions together in one place.

"If we don't have something in the Bill that says victims are entitled to support, I think that says something about how highly we consider victims.

"[A] terrible statistic from the National Crime Agency is that of all the victims that were encountered by public agencies last year, 60% of them did not go in to the current process for receiving support, and that just raises the question, why not?

"It's absolutely essential anyone who goes into a premises where there could be someone who's a victim of slavery needs to know and understand what it looks like to spot and also what they can do to help support that victim and what's available to help that person."

Listen to Louise Gleich speaking to Premier's Antony Bushfield on the News Hour:

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