News and Views

Free For Good campaign and the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill

This Bill will give all victims the chance to be supported and helped for a year to help them get back on their feet.

The 2015 Modern Slavery Act has been lauded as a milestone in the global anti-slavery fight for introducing life sentences for traffickers, forcing firms to check their supply chains for forced labour, and protecting people at risk of being enslaved.

The Government in October announced an overhaul of the way it handles potential victims, with a raft of changes including extra shelter and support, and drop-in services. However these reforms do not go far enough.

In January I attended the launch of the Free For Good campaign, a coalition of anti-trafficking charities set up to support new proposed victim support legislation written by Lord McColl of Dulwich.

At the centre of the campaign is support for victims of modern slavery enshrined in law to bolster the piecemeal care. People who say they have been enslaved can enter the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and access counselling, housing and legal aid while the government decides whether to recognise them as victims. Yet those who are identified as victims then have no guarantee of further help leaving them at of risk of abuse, homelessness, destitution or fresh exploitation.

A proposed law put forward by the House of Lords would allow such survivors to remain in Britain for a year and receive a support package while deciding whether to apply to remain indefinitely, or accept help to return home.

“People need a meaningful recovery period to give them the chance to rebuild their lives and decide what to do next,” Kate Roberts of the Human Trafficking Foundation said at the launch.

Louise Gleich, Senior Policy Officer Human Trafficking, has written to us with information about how we can get involved and give our support to the Bill.

On behalf of NAWO members we have given our support to the campaign. Our logo is on the Free for Good Campaign website.

The purpose of the website is to raise awareness of the Bill amongst MPs to put pressure on the Government to give time for Lord McColl’s Bill to make progress in the House of Lords and ultimately debated in the Commons

Like all campaigns the more people that get involved the better the chances for the proposed BIll to go forward.  Please do what you can to to generate interest in the campaign and rally support for the Bill. We are being asked to support the campaign in a number of ways:

  • use the site to email your MP asking them to support Lord McColl’s Bill (use the  pre drafted text or add your own comment)
  • use your website/blotext to write a short piece about the website and Lord McColl’s Bill
  • use social media to share information about the site on social media using the hashtag #freeforgood.  Attached are some images here drawn from the website which we can use to draw attention to our posts as well as the free for good logo. If you use these images, please include a link to the site with your post as it isn’t embedded in the images.

Two interesting articles you may want to read here and here

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me. admin@nawo,org,uk

Let’s all do what we can.