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Modern Slavery Bill

Volume 584: debated on Thursday 17 July 2014

The following is an extract from the speech made by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, the hon. Member for Staffordshire Moorlands (Karen Bradley) during the Second Reading debate on the Modern Slavery Bill.

The hon. Member for Arfon highlighted the interesting disparity between income levels in the countries from which trafficking victims often travel. Again, one of the strange parts of the crime is that the victims of trafficking often want to be trafficked, if that makes sense, because they feel that they are leaving something worse to go to something better. It is only when they get to their destination, having committed an immigration crime by allowing themselves to be trafficked, that they are exploited as a slave. I am pleased that we have introduced a statutory defence in the Bill that ensures that anyone who has committed an immigration crime, not knowing that they would end up being abused as a slave, will be protected.

[Official Report, 8 July 2014, Vol. 584, c. 259.]

Letter of correction from Karen Bradley:

An error has been identified in part of the speech I gave during the Second Reading debate on the Modern Slavery Bill on 8 July.

The correct statement is as follows:

The hon. Member for Arfon highlighted the interesting disparity between income levels in the countries from which trafficking victims often travel. Again, one of the strange parts of the crime is that the victims of trafficking often want to be trafficked, if that makes sense, because they feel that they are leaving something worse to go to something better. It is only when they get to their destination, having committed an immigration crime by allowing themselves to be trafficked, that they are exploited as a slave. I am pleased that we have introduced a statutory defence in the Bill ensuring that victims of modern slavery who have been compelled to commit immigration crimes have additional protection. The court will be able to take into account all the persons circumstances when determining whether compulsion has taken place.