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REX/Elena Perlino
UK News

Christian charity welcomes passing of Modern Slavery Bill

by Antony Bushfield

The Modern Slavery Bill was passed by parliament last night after peers backed down in a standoff with the House of Commons.

The House of Lords rejected a move to add further protection for overseas domestic workers meaning the bill could finally pass.

It's after revelations that people are brought to the UK to work as gardeners, cooks, cleaners or nannies and are often low paid and over worked.

Christian charity CARE has been campaigning for the new law for years and claims the government included a number of their recommendations.

The organisation said the new bill will provide a specialist independent child trafficking advocate to protect children who have suffered the trauma of being trafficked.

It also said the legislation includes measures to prevent the punishment of victims of human trafficking for crimes they have been compelled to commit by their traffickers.

CARE CEO Nola Leach said: "I want to commend MPs and Peers who have worked so hard to move this Bill in the right direction so that now we've got a piece of legislation that will empower and support victims.

"When the legislation was first announced, CARE was especially concerned with the failure to provide adequate support for child victims of trafficking.

"If you are a child who has suffered the trauma of being trapped in trafficking, the experience can be devastating and it was vital the Bill introduced specialist child trafficking advocates to be a voice for the most vulnerable victims - those who couldn't speak for themselves."

Overseas domestic workers found to be victims of modern slavery will now be allowed to stay in the UK for at least six months instead of being immediately deported.

Home Office minister Lord Bates told peers: "The Government has taken significant steps - both before people come here to make sure they are aware of their rights, to make sure employers are aware of the consequence of undertaking abuse, to make sure they have knowledge of the minimum wage and other rights they are entitled to and to make sure that when they arrive at port there are interviews with border force officials."

The bill will only be law in England and Wales. Northern Ireland already has a Modern Slavery Law and the Scottish Parliament is currently discussing its version.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour Antony Bushfield interviewed James Mildred from CARE. Listen to the full interview below: 

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