Hestia has worked with Lord Hunt of Kings Heath to create amendments focused on protecting victims of Modern Slavery. Hestia thanks Lord Hunt for tabling the amendments and securing such a decisive vote in their favour.

Last week, the House of Lords voted in favour of protecting victims of modern slavery as part of the Illegal Migration Bill. During the debate, Lord Hunt spoke up about how modern slavery is a brutal crime. He described the ruthlessness and complex nature of criminal networks in buying and selling people for profit.

Victims of this brutal exploitation are forced to enter the UK illegally after being coerced, forced against their will, deceived, stripped of their identity and autonomy.

Lord Hunt went on to say that if the Illegal Migration Bill is left unamended “it will completely undermine the Modern Slavery Act and see victims punished for crimes committed by their perpetrators, deported or held in detention centres, exacerbating pre-existing trauma.”

“The Bill (if left unamended) will do nothing to break the cycle of exploitation or help people break free of modern slavery.” - Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

“Under the provisions in the Bill, where a protection claim, or a human rights claim falls within Clause 4(5), it will be declared as inadmissible by the Secretary of State and will not be considered in the UK. Clause 21 extends the provision to individuals even where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the individual is a victim of trafficking and removes the modern slavery provisions providing such victims with protection.”

Lord Hunt also said that, if the Bill is left unamended, “it will undoubtedly strengthen the hands of the trafficking networks. Traffickers know; they keep people under control with threats that they will not receive help if they reach out to the authorities.”

For more information about the Migration bill visit Migration Bill: Government suffers series of defeats in Lords.

Following the second Report session in the House of Lords, further amendments Hestia and Lord Hunt created were moved and agreed to as consequential to our initial amendment. This is a further win for victims of modern slavery, and we hope that in future sessions the remaining amendments will be moved and agreed upon too.

We welcome the Lords’ decision. With this vote, victims of modern slavery are recognised as victims who need to be supported to bring criminals to justice.

Hestia is thankful to Lord Hunt and those who have helped and expressed their support for this humane amendment.

We will now work closely with members of Parliament to keep these amendments when the Bill returns to the Commons, encouraging them to maintain vital protections for victims of modern slavery.