Modern Slavery Act 2015

Modern Slavery Act 2015

The Clinical Negligence team at Alsters Kelley solicitors were recently successful in renewing their Legal Aid tender and in addition, can now act for anyone affected under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is designed to tackle slavery in the UK and consolidates previous offences relating to trafficking and slavery. The Act extends to England and Wales.

It will give law enforcement the tools to fight modern slavery, ensure perpetrators can receive suitably severe punishments for these appalling crimes and enhance support and protection for victims. It received Royal Assent on Thursday 26 March 2015.

Modern Slavery is a major issue and it is estimated to be a £120 billion industry worldwide, affecting more than 21 million women, men and children. Globalization, new technologies, and mass migration have made it possible for ruthless people to exploit others for vast profit.

The UK is seeing a year on year increase in the number of victims of trafficking being reported to official channels. In 2015, the number of potential victims who formally entered the system via the National Referral Mechanism was 3,266 – a 40% increase on 2014. But as modern slavery is a ‘hidden crime’, there are likely to be many thousands more victims who cannot access the help needed to escape exploitation. 

Lawyers can use their legal expertise to help combat modern slavery and represent victims of modern slavery to fight for compensation to help them rebuild their lives.

The Act will:

  • consolidate and simplify existing offences into a single act
  • ensure that perpetrators receive suitably severe punishments for modern slavery crimes (including life sentences)
  • enhance the court’s ability to put restrictions on individuals where it’s necessary to protect people from the harm caused by modern slavery offences
  • create an independent anti-slavery commissioner to improve and better coordinate the response to modern slavery
  • introduce a defense for victims of slavery and trafficking
  • place a duty on the secretary of state to produce statutory guidance on victim identification and victim services
  • enable the secretary of state to make regulations relating to the identification of and support for victims
  • make provision for independent child trafficking advocates
  • introduce a new reparation order to encourage the courts to compensate victims where assets are confiscated from perpetrators
  • enable law enforcement to stop boats where slaves are suspected of being held or trafficked
  • require businesses over a certain size to disclose each year what action they have taken to ensure there is no modern slavery in their business or supply chains.

If you or anyone you know would like to speak to someone about Modern Slavery then please contact our Clinical Negligence team on 01926 356072 or email medical.negligence@alsterskelley.com

 

 

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