Slavery is as much of a problem in the UK today as when it was abolished ‘due to trafficking of women into prostitution’
Slavery remains as much of a problem in the UK as when it was officially abolished 200 years ago, a think-tank said today.
The Centre for Social Justice will launch a review of slavery and human trafficking as estimates show at least 6,000 women have been trafficked into the UK and forced into prostitution.
Others are working as domestic servants or forced labour.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, patron of the think-tank, will help launch the inquiry, which will look at the role, impact and training of the police and other frontline organisations.
It will also consider the effectiveness of the National Referral Mechanism, which aims to identify victims
Gavin Poole, the CSJ’s executive director, said: ‘Every slavery victim represents a family torn apart and an individual’s freedom and choice destroyed.
‘They mark the continuation of an illegal trade which, since its official abolition in 1807, has grown to devastate many more people than it did 200 years ago.’
‘We want the UK to become a world leader in combating this evil trade at home and abroad and working with other countries to make abolition a reality.’
The 15-month review, which will be led by Andrew Wallis, director of the anti-trafficking and victim support charity Unseen UK, will also consider the UK’s laws on prostitution, trafficking and domestic servitude.
The support and care available to victims will also be examined, along with the role of the general public and civil society in combating slavery, the CSJ said.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “The UK has a strong record of supporting victims of trafficking and through tough enforcement we are stopping the UK becoming a safe haven.
‘Our new trafficking strategy will be published shortly, supported by the new National Crime Agency, which will improve our capability to disrupt organised groups from trafficking people to the UK – from wherever they operate in the world.’