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House of Commons Hansard
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Modern Slavery Bill
04 November 2014
Volume 587

Consideration of Bill, as amended in the Public Bill Committee

New Clause 11

“Transparency in supply chains etc

‘(1) A commercial organisation within subsection (2) must prepare a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year of the organisation.

(2) A commercial organisation is within this subsection if it—

(a) supplies goods or services, and

(b) has a total turnover of not less than an amount prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(b), an organisation’s total turnover is to be determined in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(4) A slavery and human trafficking statement for a financial year is—

(a) a statement of the steps the organisation has taken during the financial year to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place—

(i) in any of its supply chains, and

(ii) in any part of its own business, or

(b) a statement that the organisation has taken no such steps.

(5) If the organisation has a website, it must—

(a) publish the slavery and human trafficking statement on that website, and

(b) include a link to the slavery and human trafficking statement in a prominent place on that website’s homepage.

(6) If the organisation does not have a website, it must provide a copy of the slavery and human trafficking statement to anyone who makes a written request for one, and must do so before the end of the period of 30 days beginning with the day on which the request is received.

(7) The Secretary of State—

(a) may issue guidance about the duties imposed on commercial organisations by this section;

(b) must publish any such guidance in a way the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(8) The guidance may in particular include guidance about the kind of information which may be included in a slavery and human trafficking statement.

(9) The duties imposed on commercial organisations by this section are enforceable by the Secretary of State bringing civil proceedings in the High Court for an injunction or, in Scotland, for specific performance of a statutory duty under section 45 of the Court of Session Act 1988.

(10) For the purposes of this section—

“commercial organisation” means—

(a) a body corporate (wherever incorporated) which carries on a business, or part of a business, in any part of the United Kingdom, or

(b) a partnership (wherever formed) which carries on a business, or part of a business, in any part of the United Kingdom,

and for this purpose “business” includes a trade or profession;

“partnership” means—

(a) a partnership within the Partnership Act 1890,

(b) a limited partnership registered under the Limited Partnerships Act 1907, or

(c) a firm, or an entity of a similar character, formed under the law of a country outside the United Kingdom;

“slavery and human trafficking” means—

(a) conduct which constitutes an offence under any of the following—

(b) conduct which would constitute an offence in a part of the United Kingdom under any of those provisions if the conduct took place in that part of the United Kingdom.”.(Karen Bradley.)

Brought up, and read the First time.

This New Clause requires businesses over a certain size to disclose annually what steps they have taken to ensure that slavery or human trafficking is not taking place in any of their supply chains or their own business through a statement published on their website, if they have one.

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I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

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With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

New clause 5—Duty on large UK companies to report efforts to eradicate modern slavery and forced labour

‘(1) The Secretary of State must, not later than 5 October 2015,—

(a) make regulations under section 416(4) of the Companies Act 2006 (c. 46) requiring the directors’ report of a company to contain such information as may be specified in the regulations about modern slavery and forced labour in the supply chain for which the company is responsible, or

(b) lay before Parliament a report explaining why no such regulations have been made.

(2) Regulations made under section (1)(a) must be in force in relation to quoted companies by 6 January 2016 and in relation to large private companies as the Secretary of State believes to be appropriate by 2 January 2018.

(3) Subsection (1)(a) is complied with if regulations are made containing provision in relation to the company’s reporting of work in the following areas—

(a) accountability for tackling modern slavery and forced labour, including policy commitments, resourcing and actions to exercise due diligence;

(b) investigation, monitoring and auditing of modern slavery and forced labour risks in the UK and throughout their global supply chains;

(c) support and access to remedy for victims of forced labour and modern slavery; and

(d) training of staff and suppliers, access to expertise and advice.

(4) No regulations made under this section shall apply to small companies as defined by section 381 of the Companies Act 2006 (c. 46).”

New clause 15—Legal liability for the beneficiaries of slavery

‘(1) The Secretary of State shall within six months of this Act coming into force bring forward regulations to ensure that a person benefiting from an offence under section 1 or 2 of this Act committed by a third party shall have committed an offence where—

(a) the third party acted for that person’s benefit; and

(b) their lack of supervision or control made possible for committing of the offence by the third party.

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) shall not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by both Houses of Parliament.”

This new Clause requires the Secretary of State to bring forward measures along the lines set out in EU Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing trafficking in human beings.

New clause 14—Ban on importation of goods produced by slavery or forced labour

‘(1) The Secretary of State shall have the power to prohibit the import at any point of entry to the United Kingdom of any good, ware, article, or product mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country that can be demonstrably shown to have been produced by slavery, forced labour, child labour or with the involvement of human trafficking.

(2) The Secretary of State shall—

(a) prescribe such regulations as may be necessary for the enforcement of this provision;

(b) co-ordinate with and issue guidance to the Treasury, HMRC, devolved authorities and any other relevant public authority in relation to the exercise by them of their powers and responsibilities under this Clause; and

(c) have a duty to publish and maintain information on banned goods including a publicly available list of products which there is a reasonable basis to believe might have been mined, produced, or manufactured in the circumstances described in section (1).

(3) The Secretary of State shall establish a process whereby a petition can be made by any person, public authority or organisation who has reason to believe that goods produced in the circumstances in section (1) are being or are likely to be imported into the UK to communicate theses concerns to the relevant authority. Every such communication shall contain—

(a) a full statement of reasons for the claim;

(b) a detailed description or example of the product; and

(c) all relevant information regarding the production of the good.”

This would allow for the banning of the import of any product produced by slavery, convict, forced or indentured labour, including child labour.

Government amendment 62.

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It is a pleasure to open this important debate. Modern slavery in supply chains is an issue that this Government take extremely seriously and have been considering very closely for some time. Tackling modern slavery is not only about catching the perpetrators; it is about making sure that we as consumers and businesses do not inadvertently fuel the demand for slave labour. We do not want businesses in the UK to have any connection to these abhorrent crimes, and UK consumers should not be put in the position where they inadvertently buy goods that could have been produced by individuals who are abused and enslaved.

The Government have been listening carefully to the views of NGOs, businesses and parliamentarians on this issue. I know that many right hon. and hon. Members here today have been campaigning on it for a long time, and their contributions and insight have been invaluable in developing our thinking. I would particularly like to thank the pre-legislative scrutiny Committee on the draft Modern Slavery Bill, who collected such valuable evidence, and the chair of the Committee, the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field), for his leadership. I would also like to thank the hon. Members for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) and for Linlithgow and East Falkirk (Michael Connarty), who have both tabled private Members’ Bills on this topic and have campaigned so tirelessly.

The Government have always been committed to encouraging businesses to take action on modern slavery, but I and the Home Secretary wanted to make sure that any further legislative changes were of real value and would not confuse existing arrangements. Having considered carefully the evidence and calls for change, I believe that we can improve the legislative framework further to encourage business to take action. That is why I am extremely pleased that we have brought forward new clause 11, which will require organisations carrying on a business in the UK above a certain size threshold to disclose each year what they have done to ensure that there is no modern slavery in their supply chains or their organisation. Once businesses are required to disclose what they are doing to tackle modern slavery, consumers, shareholders and campaigners will have a better understanding of what action each business is taking, and can call for more action if they think more is needed.

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I am glad that the Minister is introducing this clause. May I ask two questions? When companies report, will the Government comment? Will the new independent anti-slavery commissioner be expected to comment and try to raise the standards of firms?

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I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his questions. Later in my remarks I will come to how we envisage the provision working. I hope that will address his concerns.

Many businesses are already taking steps to eliminate modern slavery. Once it is clear what activity major businesses are undertaking, we expect that public pressure and competition between businesses will encourage those who have not taken decisive steps to do so. Introducing this measure is an important step, and that is why we want to get it right. The provision does not specify the size of business on the face of the Bill. That is because we genuinely want to listen to businesses and stakeholders about the best possible approach and we will formally consult on the threshold level.

Our thoughts are that this provision should apply to large companies in the first instance. We will consult fully on the threshold and then set the threshold through regulations subject to the affirmative procedure, which will ensure that Parliament has the final say on the initial threshold, and can subsequently review and amend it over time, if required. We will also produce statutory guidance to accompany this provision, setting out the kinds of information that might be included in a disclosure, so that companies understand and have the support they need to comply. Again, we will consult on what information should be in the guidance, working with businesses and other interested parties so that they have a good understanding of what information might be used to comply with the disclosure requirement.

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Like the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field), I am glad that the measure is being included in the Bill. Can my hon. Friend give us an idea of the time scale involved in the consultations and when we might see the resulting legislation?

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My right hon. Friend deserves credit for campaigning tirelessly on this and other issues related to modern slavery. I will come on later to how we envisage the process working. We are considering an appropriate timetable. As he will appreciate, we have to get the balance right between letting both Houses have their say and the need to make progress.

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I look forward to hearing further details. We are all aware that over the weekend, for example, there was a furore about T-shirts. That emphasises that many companies think they are free of slavery, but they are not. We must sure that we get on with the measure, because it is important.

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I take my right hon. Friend’s comments and will ensure that they are considered in the process. He is right that one of the difficulties and one of the reasons that we have considered the matter carefully is that many businesses are trying hard to comply, but we need to help them and support them to do so. That is why it was vital that we spent time consulting businesses to make sure that we came up with an effective approach that would make a difference.

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The Minister has not spelled out any dates. The matter has gone through the Joint Committee, it has been debated and there have been various hearings. New clause 11 says that the Secretary of State “may issue guidance”. What we are not getting is any sense of the operational requirements on a company such as Tesco, which was benefiting from slave labour in the fishing industry in Thailand. What would companies be required to do operationally under this guidance?

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I will come, as I said, to how we envisage the measure working. My hon. Friend reflects exactly the balance that we are trying to achieve between getting on as quickly as possible and letting Parliament have its say to make sure that we reflect what Parliament wishes in this respect.

The statutory guidance will only be guidance. We will not tell businesses what a disclosure must include, and we fully expect disclosures to differ from company to company, which is why the Bill does not specify what information a disclosure must contain. Businesses will be at different levels of maturity and will work in very different sectors, so what is applicable to one might not be applicable to others. We therefore believe that well-constructed guidance is the best approach.

In developing that provision, we looked carefully at the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act 2010, which is often cited as the first Act to address transparency issues. We recognised that any measure seeking to address the issue must create a level playing field, which is why we decided not to follow the amendment to the Companies Act 2006 proposed by the pre-legislative scrutiny Committee. The duty in that Act applies only to public limited companies. Our measure will require all companies over a certain size to disclose what they are doing to ensure that there is no slavery in their supply chains.

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My hon. Friend refers to the proposed amendment to the Companies Act. Does she accept that when Parliament put forward a human rights disclosure requirement, it was plainly the intention that it should also include supply chains?

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My hon. Friend, who was such a committed member of the Public Bill Committee, makes an important point. The Government have already legislated to require companies to disclose in their annual reports under the Companies Act that they respect human rights throughout their business. We wanted to ensure that there was a further requirement on slavery, so we ensured that there was full transparency on slavery in supply chains in addition to the requirement that we have already included in the Companies Act.

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I take the Minister’s point about the Government’s approach being superior to our proposal to amend the Companies Act. One of the advantages of her approach is that the proposed legislation will cover those companies that are large but are owned offshore. We want to bring them within the ambit of the Act, because they are really important traders in this country.

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The right hon. Gentleman makes exactly the right point. This is about ensuring that any company doing business in the UK makes transparent disclosures on the action it has taken on slavery in its supply chains. We want UK consumers to understand what actions have been taken by the businesses they transact with so that they can then put pressure on them if they feel that not enough is being doing. The Government will be able to help those companies through the guidance we issue on the action they may take that would give consumers the reassurance they need. We have also improved on the California model by capturing any commercial organisation that produces not only goods but services.

We are also looking at public sector procurement, recognising that modern slavery could happen anywhere. All public sector suppliers are already required to comply with relevant human rights and employment law, and EU procurement rules require contracting authorities to exclude suppliers that have been convicted of certain offences. Social responsibility information is also sought annually from Government suppliers, including details of the steps taken and planned by suppliers in the areas of ethical procurement and supply chain management.

I will now turn to new clause 5, tabled by Opposition Front Benchers, which would require the Secretary of State to make regulations under section 416(4) of the Companies Act 2006 so that quoted companies and certain large private companies are required to include in their directors’ reports information relating to modern slavery and forced labour in the supply chain. It is fair to say that we are all trying to achieve the same aim—ensuring that the supply chains of UK businesses are free from slave labour—but the ways in which we are seeking to do that may well differ. In considering this important issue, we have looked at a number of approaches, including amending the Companies Act and, in particular, the Companies Act amendment proposed by the pre-legislative scrutiny Committee.

I believe that introducing a specific provision in the Modern Slavery Bill, rather than in the Companies Act, sends out a clear signal that the UK will not tolerate any form of modern slavery. It also explicitly raises the profile of the issue by ensuring that the provisions are front and centre of what the Bill and this Government are trying to achieve: to stamp out modern slavery in all its forms. I think that all of us in this House are trying to achieve that. Those who disclose little or no action risk their reputation and, ultimately, their profits.

New clause 14, tabled by the hon. Member for Foyle (Mark Durkan)—he, too, served on the Public Bill Committee—would ban the import of any product produced by slavery, forced or child labour or human trafficking. As I have said, I believe that slavery in all its forms is abhorrent. The provisions we have brought forward to increase transparency in supply chains are both effective and proportionate. It would simply not be feasible for UK agencies to police the import of goods on the basis of whether they had been produced using slave labour. We need those trading with companies in other jurisdictions to apply due diligence and take decisive action where they believe that slave labour is being used. Waiting until the point when products are being imported into the UK is simply too late. That is why it is for businesses to take action to check their supply chains and for the Government to influence and encourage other Governments to do more, such as by improving the application of their employment laws or their approach to human rights issues.

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I thank the Minister for working so hard to introduce new clause 11, which I very much welcome. Will she cover the point raised in an earlier intervention about the role of the anti-slavery commissioner? As she will know, the terms of reference were discussed in Committee. It would be useful to know whether the Government think that the commissioner’s remit will include looking at company reports and assessing how effective they are.

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I thank my right hon. Friend for his comments and for all his work, not only in the Public Bill Committee but in the pre-legislative scrutiny Committee—he has truly lived this issue for most of this year, so I know how committed he is. I think that policing the measure is a matter for us all. In particular, the non-governmental organisations that work on victim protection—I discussed this with them last week—have such an important role to play in bringing to our attention those companies that they believe are not doing the compliance and disclosure that we all expect. We will move on to the specifics of the anti-slavery commissioner’s role later in the debate. My emphasis for the commissioner is on identifying victims and then ensuring that we get prosecutions in order to protect victims. The role is not so much about policing the supply chain measure. Obviously, as the commissioner’s role develops, we may see new issues come to the fore.

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I commend my hon. Friend for listening to Members on both sides of the House regarding the supply chain issue and bringing forward this new clause. Does she agree that the strongest policing of the issue will come from the large companies at the head of supply chains, because they have the infrastructure really to do due diligence and stamp out slavery down the line? The proportionate way in which she is introducing this, with company size being a factor, is one of the strongest signals we could possibly send to the wider world that we want no part of it in our supply chains.

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I thank my right hon. Friend for her comments. She, too, was a member of the pre-legislative scrutiny Committee—there is definitely great experience and knowledge of the issue in the Chamber today. Her work on the issue has been of great help to the Government. She is right that this is about the large businesses. When the Government discussed how best to secure this, it was the large businesses that were keen to see the level playing field, with everyone crossing the line together. She is absolutely right.

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The Minister is being very generous in giving way. This whole measure can be seen not as a burden for businesses, but as an empowering measure, because all responsible businesses will be able to see how they can root out and eradicate slavery. Is there a way in which we could move on in the timing of this measure and on enforcement by ensuring that everyone can see those businesses that are disclosing and complying, and by shaming those that are not? We could do that straight away on the website. Perhaps the anti-slavery commissioner could have their own portal to allow that to be communicated so that we could name and shame in an easy and accountable way.

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My hon. Friend is right to say that this process does not need to wait for the legislation to come in. Businesses can start to make these disclosures now; there is nothing to stop them doing that. The point of the Bill is to make sure that there is a level playing field and that all are crossing the line together. He makes some very interesting suggestions that I will reflect on.

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Will not successful disclosures involve some companies that, having found they are guilty of having slavery in the supply chain, rather than just sacking the suppliers, work with them on paying the workers proper wages? I would not want this measure to perpetuate poverty by pushing slavery further underground. If the public are to take a really rounded view on these reports, they should praise companies that find they are using slave labour and then go on to say what they are doing about it.

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The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. This is about getting transparency in supply chains. On the very first day I started as a Minister, the first thing I was lobbied on was transparency in supply chains, and it became clear that this is all about finding out what is going on—shining a light. As he says, there may well be slavery within these supply chains, and if so action can be taken to deal with that.

I would add that in my experience of meeting Governments overseas where there may be concerns about human rights abuses, one of the strongest and most powerful tools to convince those Governments that they need to take action is that their businesses will not be able to trade with businesses here in Britain because we expect to be sure that there is no slavery in the supply chain, that human rights are not being abused through the supply chain, and that when consumers buy goods in Britain they can be confident that all action that possibly can have been taken has been taken to eradicate these practices from the supply chain. That is what transparency does—it shines that light and gives that clarity to the consumer.

New clause 15, tabled by the hon. Member for Foyle, seeks to require the Secretary of State to lay regulations to ensure that individuals who have benefited from modern slavery that has been perpetrated by a third party are criminally liable where their lack of supervision made the modern slavery offence possible. We do of course want business to take action to eliminate modern slavery from supply chains, and, as we have discussed, the Government are bringing forward a legislative measure to achieve this. However, I am not persuaded that a potentially very broad criminal liability in this area is the best approach. I want these provisions to drive a change in behaviour. That is why I firmly believe that the Government’s amendment to introduce a bespoke provision into the Bill is the right one. As I said, it goes much wider than the provisions in the California Act by including all sectors, not just retail and manufacturing, and the provision of services, as well as goods, but it does so in a way that does not create undue burdens for business.

I fully acknowledge the good intentions behind right hon. and hon. Members’ amendments. However, in the light of discussions and the work that the Government have undertaken in this area, and the effective provision that we are proposing today, I hope that they will feel able to withdraw them.

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I rise to welcome the Government’s new clause 11 and to speak to new clause 5, which stands in my name and the names of other right hon. and hon. Members. It is very good news that the Government have finally moved on this matter in the final stages of the Bill. Not including supply chains was the single biggest omission from the draft Bill and the Bill introduced to this House, and it is good to see that this important concession has been secured from the Government.

I congratulate all those who have campaigned on this issue, including my hon. Friends the Members for Linlithgow and East Falkirk (Michael Connarty), for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) and for Birkenhead (Mr Field), and, on the Government Benches, the right hon. Members for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Sir John Randall) and for Meriden (Mrs Spelman). The hon. Member for Foyle (Mark Durkan) has tabled two new clauses that seek to extend the responsibilities of UK companies towards those who work in the supply chains, including compensation for victims and a ban on the importation of products produced using slavery.

Outside this House, a huge number of groups have also campaigned on the issue. I pay particular tribute to the Walk Free Foundation, the Ethical Trading Initiative, and the British Retail Consortium. I would like personally to thank all the groups and companies that I have met in order to inform Labour’s position, including Next, Primark, the Co-operative Group, Focus On Labour Exploitation, and Amnesty International.

Including supply chains in this Bill is the right thing to do. We cannot be serious about tackling slavery in the United Kingdom if we are prepared to accept products made using slave labour being sold on our high streets or commissioned by our companies. There has been an increasing awareness that slavery and forced labour are increasingly linked to the production of goods for major UK companies. We saw the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory where, sadly, 1,200 people lost their lives, many of whom were making clothes for UK stores. We saw the newspaper story by Felicity Lawrence—she won awards for it—about the prawn fishermen who were held in a lifetime of slavery reinforced by routine murder, having to watch individuals being tied to masts between boats and torn apart. We know that those prawns were being sold to Tesco, the Co-op and Aldi in the United Kingdom. We also know of small children who have been paid pennies a day to sew sequins on to children’s clothes.

The strength of feeling about dealing with such examples is very high. Eighty-four per cent. of the UK public want legislation on this, and so do the overwhelming majority of companies. For far too long, it was just the Government who were holding up progress. While most large retailers are implementing policies to tackle the issue, it is hard to see tangible progress, and hard for consumers to judge between companies. We want to introduce mandatory standards for reporting to force companies to adopt standard procedures. It is important to stress that we want to support British businesses that are acting to create the level playing field that the Minister mentioned. This is not just about forcing companies to act, but helping them to act.

One thing that has become clear to me in looking at this issue is how complicated the supply chains for UK companies are. It is hugely complex for UK companies to inspect their suppliers. Even the best practice in auditing is not foolproof. As the right hon. Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip said, we saw at the weekend the story about Whistles and the Fawcett Society T-shirts. I very much hope that The Mail on Sunday, which took such an interest in this area, will be campaigning hard to make sure that it talks about getting supply chains into the Bill and supports it as a very important piece of legislation.

The Bill is about changing market conditions and creating market incentives for suppliers to show themselves to be fair. That would mean suppliers being able to show that they are meeting International Labour Organisation standards, backed up by kite-marking and an inspection regime. This is hard for UK companies to implement individually, but collective action could make it the norm. The Bribery Act 2010 has been hailed for reducing the burden on businesses by creating consistent standards and an industry to audit what is happening.

The Opposition’s proposal in new clause 5 builds on the recommendations of the Joint Committee and is modelled on section 85 of the Climate Change Act 2008. It does not bring in regulations directly; rather, it requires the Secretary of State to do so using an enabling power in the Companies Act 2006. While the regulations are in secondary legislation, the new clause lays out the framework for how they should work. I want to emphasise how our new clause addresses the three key issues in making a workable change to the Bill.

The first issue is coverage. Our new clause 5 is explicit that this must cover large private companies and quoted companies. Of course, that may exclude some international firms working in the UK, but it is important to know that most will have UK subsidiaries that will be covered by the law.

The second issue is comparability. I am concerned that the Minister seemed to say that she did not think that this issue is particularly important. Consumers, non-governmental organisations and investors must be able to look at two reports and make direct comparisons between companies. Any large company could write a report laying out work in this area, but we need regulation to be specific enough to ensure that we can compare like with like.

Our new clause demands regulation under four headings, which were drafted in coalition with the Ethical Trading Initiative. The first is

“accountability for tackling modern slavery and forced labour, including policy commitments, resourcing and actions to exercise due diligence”.

The second is

“investigation, monitoring and auditing of modern slavery and forced labour risks in the UK and throughout their global supply chains”.

The third is

“support and access to remedy for victims of forced labour and modern slavery”.

The fourth heading, which fits in with what my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead has said, centres on

“training of staff and suppliers,”

giving them access to expertise and advice.

Finally, our new clause deals with the issue of enforcement by placing the regulations within the framework of the Companies Act 2006. That is absolutely key, because if we look at what has happened in California—the Minister referred to the Californian model—we will note that it has been very hard to see which companies have complied and how they have done so. Proper enforcement is not just about companies writing a report; it is about companies complying with the reporting requirements. As we have seen in California, without an enforcement procedure, companies are able to interpret the reporting requirements however they see fit.

Placing the reporting requirement in the Companies Act deals with that. There is already a range of personal and corporate enforcement procedures. Directors would have individual fiduciary duties to ensure the accuracy of the report and those involved in the compiling of the report, including accountants and lawyers, would also be under a professional duty to ensure the report is not misleading.

Moreover, this is a report that would be used by investors, not just consumers, so it could put pressure on companies from both sides. If firm x produces a report saying it has done a and b to eradicate slavery and then a newspaper shows that to be incorrect, investors would have the right to take action against the firm for the resulting fall in share prices. That seems to me to be one of the biggest incentives we could provide in pursuing this objective.

We support the Government’s new clause 11, but the details of the three points I have just set out are to be left to secondary legislation.

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The hon. Lady is making powerful points about what teeth the guidance will have. Does she think that there are lessons to be drawn from when this House debated the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, when it was believed that the behaviour of the banks would be influenced by reputational damage, a belief that was found to be false in the light of their future conduct? There seems to be a reliance on the idea that guidance in itself will have a deterrent effect on major corporations, but that has to be backed up with some teeth.

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I could not agree more. That is why it was important that I set out why new clause 5 deals in detail with the kind of issues that need to be clearly addressed in secondary legislation. I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman’s intervention.

Just to recap: we support the Government’s new clause 11. Obviously, we want to wait and see what happens with the secondary legislation as it is introduced. It is surprising that the Government have gone against the Joint Committee’s recommendation and the evidence presented by several large companies arguing against stand-alone regulation, although the Government have now seen fit to pursue that. That poses particular problems for enforcement. I am sure the Minister has seen the briefing from the coalition of groups campaigning for change, which states:

“Monitoring of compliance with the provision needs to be taken seriously as this will be central to its success in driving change. We are concerned that the provision is currently weak on how monitoring and enforcement will be undertaken. The Government’s approach relies on a civil enforcement procedure by the Secretary of State, which means that in reality the measure would be unlikely to deter any businesses other than those who would in any case seek to comply on a voluntary basis.”

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I thank the hon. Lady for giving way—I hope she will be able to wet her whistle while I speak. Does she agree that the monitoring process could make a start through the anti-slavery commissioner taking a more active role in observing and supervising company reports?

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The right hon. Gentleman makes a very important point. Time is limited this afternoon, but I hope there will more discussion in the other place about extending the role of the independent anti-slavery commissioner to do exactly what the right hon. Gentleman has said.

In the Minister’s closing remarks, I want assurances that whatever is proposed will apply to all large companies; that the regulations will be detailed enough to allow comparability; and that there will be a clear enforcement mechanism so that consumers, investors and NGOs can see who has complied and know that they can trust the report they have read.

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It is a pleasure to contribute to this debate and, in particular, to support the principles in new clause 11. Some good points have also been made about new clause 5. As was evident on Second Reading, the House has coalesced around the principle of providing transparency of supply chains. It has taken a while to get there. I pay particular tribute to the Minister for the work she has done and the leadership she has shown in bringing together the Government in this way. That takes some doing.

The importance of the integrity of basic human rights in supply chains has not been recognised until now, unlike—shamefully, in some ways—the integrity of products in supply chains of hardwood, tobacco and pharma- ceuticals. Today represents a big and important step change in recognising the integrity of those human rights.

New clause 11 covers the principles of accountability and reporting, which are also addressed by new clause 5. We can deal with the qualms and queasiness surrounding burdens by saying that any responsible business will welcome new clause 11 as an empowering measure that can help them disclose any issues and root out slavery.

I accept the point made by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field). When I said that we should name and shame, I did not mean that this is about good guys and bad guys. This is about disclosure. We should take a rounded approach. There needs to be full, transparent disclosure all the way along the chain so that everyone can shine a light to see what is happening and then deal with it appropriately. By shining that light all the way down and up, the most responsible businesses will expose some things that they are not happy about. They will then be able to say, robustly and confidently, “We’ve done that.” We should ensure disclosure by naming those who are disclosing in a proper and full way, and shaming those who are not disclosing, which is an issue of concern.

Once this measure is on the statute book, compliance and enforcement must be effective. From a light-touch point of view, I agree that transparency and accountability can happen through individual company websites, but we need to go further and enable all concerned to access information centrally. That is why I suggested in an intervention that the independent anti-slavery commissioner should have a portal. The responsibility for maintaining it would not be the commissioner’s alone, but people would be able to look at that independent website and see the names of those companies that have complied with the manner, spirit and intention of the statutory guidance. That is important and I think it would help. Given the timing involved with this measure and the need to get the office of the anti-slavery commissioner up and running, it is important that we make progress, possibly through the Home Office website, ahead of any parliamentary processes, including secondary legislation, and give people the opportunity to show that they are very much on the side of full disclosure.

I must say that I have one or two concerns. I am concerned about whether new clause 11 may be unduly complex, particularly in relation to enforcement via civil enforcement injunctions. Are such injunctions to expose the fact that a company is not up to speed on disclosure, or are they to get to the root problem of exposing its supply chain? The provision may be unduly bureaucratic and costly, and it may well not serve the purpose that everyone wants.

To deal with that concern, we need to consider encompassing the approach covered by the Companies Act 2006. That has been suggested as an alternative, but we should consider how to embrace it. Last autumn, Parliament’s intention was that quoted companies must report on human rights issues, and it was plainly our intention that those issues must include supply chains. In its response to the Joint Committee, the Home Office stated that

“there is no specific requirement, rather an expectation, that companies report on supply chains…under the current rules.”

We need to ensure that the expectation is made a requirement, so that that indeed happens.

One alternative, as the Joint Committee said, is to add supply chains as a reporting requirement, so let us at least make it clear that Parliament’s intention is to ensure that when public companies report on human rights issues, they include supply chains. Why would that be very useful? The Companies Act route is a top-down approach from public companies and does not cover the offshore issue—the Government have certainly embraced a much more comprehensive reporting obligation—but it imposes duties on directors and such reports are audited. The approach therefore already has independence or teeth at an early point. We cannot simply have companies reporting on their website; it is important to have auditable reporting. Companies Act processes ensure that directors, accountants or lawyers make sure that reports are up to speed, and we need to find a practical way to embrace that advantage.

We want to ensure that the Bill leads the way internationally and is world-class, as the Home Secretary has said. The Companies Act approach gives it portability across different legal systems. New clause 11 is important, but it relates to our country’s legal system in the relief that it provides through injunctions. The Companies Act approach would allow other corporate governance ways to ensure that our lead is followed internationally. At the very least, we now have consensus, and I appreciate the direction in which the Government have gone.

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Could not other countries follow our lead by simply taking new clause 11 into their legislation?

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Other countries could do that, but they have different means of enforcement, which cannot be simply transferred. However, they could certainly take a lead by adopting much of what new clause 11 says.

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My hon. Friend has done valiant work on this topic. I agree with him that the enforcement angle needs more attention, but does he not agree with me that new clause 11 takes us a huge step forward? We should congratulate the Government on that, and now invite them to take the next step and get the enforcement right.

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I do not want to understate my praise—this is a huge step forward—but we, as legislators, want to ensure that what we approve is really fit for purpose and has the necessary teeth. There are other elements that can be done without legislation: the issue of international corporate governance goes beyond legislation, and it can best be dealt with by sharing good practice internationally.

I will finish on a very positive note. Today, we can say that British law is no longer just concerned about the sustainability of the wood in our furniture, but is more concerned about the freedom and safety of the millions of men, women and children involved in making that furniture.

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I, too, want to pursue the theme just followed by the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes) in congratulating the Government, but drawing attention to just how important new clause 11 is. The Home Secretary made it very plain in her first article in The Sunday Times that she wanted a clause on supply chains in the Bill. I therefore congratulate her, her very able Minister and the person in No. 10 who changed his mind at this very late stage in the Bill’s passage. Heaven rejoices at the sinner who repents even at the eleventh hour, and some credit should go to the Prime Minister for changing his mind on this matter.

My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson) has played a valiant role in spearheading our approach to the Bill and has borne all the heat of the day on it. However, I think we all accept, whatever efforts we have put in, that the legislation is the easy part of the process. The next part will be very hard—to get a genuinely mass consumer movement of people who do not buy goods if they are not kitemarked as being free of slavery.

As we draw stumps on this House’s proceedings on the Bill, it is important to commend it, as the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate has just done—it will not just be a good Bill, but a world leader when it leaves the other place—but the real work will be on enforcement and on convincing consumers that they have the vital job of not buying goods that are tainted by slavery.

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In following the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field), I want to acknowledge the Minister’s efforts in making good the serious deficit in the Bill, but also those of the right hon. Gentleman and many other colleagues during the pre-legislative scrutiny, on Second Reading and ever since. Those efforts by him and the many others who spoke on Second Reading and in Committee have reflected the very strong concern of some of the groups that have worked so hard to support and promote the Bill and that understand the issue so well.

I am one of those who can take yes for an answer, now that the Government have made good on this matter. However, I would say, “Yes, up to a point, but maybe it could be improved.” I believe that the Bill could go further. The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson), who tabled new clause 5, has shown that there are important issues. The headings given in subsection (3) are clear and useful, and it is right for them to be in primary legislation, rather than left to remote chance by way of secondary legislation.

New clause 5 is also important in what it would do with respect to the Companies Act. I understand what the Minister said about not only using that Act as the way to deal with the problem, but how it brings in very clear corporate responsibilities. In that context, it also highlights relevant professional obligations, which would give real meaning to what the Government and others are trying to encourage in relation to ethical investment, and in relation to the understandings we should all have about any investments—all the new pension provision and everything else—for which we are the source of the money.

The hon. Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay) has referred to financial services legislation. We have said that more and more needs to be done to ensure full and due transparency in that context. We should complement such provisions in the Bill. I therefore hope that the Minister—I support her new clause 11—can see her way to accepting new clause 5 as well.

I tabled two of the new clauses in this group of amendments. The Minister has addressed new clause 15, but let me point out that throughout the gestation of the Bill, we have been told that it is meant to be world leading. New clause 15 is an attempt to bring in the clear standards in EU directive 2011/36/EU on preventing trafficking in human beings. If the Government are at pains to consolidate and codify much existing law in the Bill and to present it as world-leading legislation, the question arises whether we should not also use it to show that we are at least matching and adhering to international standards and obligations, including EU ones. My clause on the legal liability for the beneficiaries of slavery would be consistent with the EU directive, and I see no reason why we should not explicitly ensure that our legislation is up to that standard.

New clause 14 seeks to go further on questions of the supply chain and sourcing, and the possible use of slavery or exploited labour. We are meant to be discussing world-leading legislation, but the new clause reflects legislation that was introduced 84 years ago in the United States of America. We hear a lot about Californian legislation on supply chains, but the Tariff Act 1930 in America gave power to prohibit the importation of

“goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country…by forced labour.”

The new clause is therefore hardly a radical view or innovation, and the Californian legislation—referred to often in debates on the Bill—exists in wider US legislation.

New clause 14 does not just rely on language in the 1930 legislation, which puts responsibility on the Secretary of State at the Treasury to prescribe the necessary regulations, but it also reflects the essence of the code of federal regulations in the United States, which establishes the process whereby anyone can petition the Department of Homeland Security. That explicitly provides for:

“Any person outside the Customs Service who has reason to believe that merchandise produced in the circumstances mentioned is being, or is likely to be, imported into the United States.”

The United States legislation does not guarantee that the state will fully police all those issues, but it indicates that it will respond to legitimate petitions or legitimately presented evidence that gives rise to concern, and that it will act. Legislators in the US have ensured that the state reserves that power to act to prohibit the import of a good.

In the Government’s new clause 11, the onus is—understandably—on companies, which have to be able to show what they are doing regarding their supply chains. We wanted supply chains included in the Bill not as a badge for companies, but as a shield for workers in developing countries and other places—including the UK—who could be exploited. The difference is between this measure being a corporate badge or a shield for human beings. If companies have only to present what they say they are doing, and consumers then make their judgment and choice, why—if we are legislating for company responsibility but also for consumer responsibility and activism—is there still no rule for the state or Government?

New clause 14 clearly states:

“The Secretary of State shall have the power to prohibit the import at any point of entry to the United Kingdom of any good, ware, article, or product mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country that can be demonstrably shown to have been produced by slavery, forced labour, child labour or with the involvement of human trafficking.”

By rejecting that new clause we are saying that even if exploitation can be demonstrably shown, we do not want the state or any Secretary of State to be able to act against that. Whether in relation to the T-shirts that were in the newspapers recently, or anything else, we are saying that when such issues are raised, we do not want anybody or any part of the state to have responsibility for saying, “The nature of those products in terms of the quality of the supply chain is clear, but it is nobody’s job to move to do anything other that what companies are inspired to do, or what consumers are mobilised to do.”

New clause 11(9) provides that:

“The duties imposed on commercial organisations are enforceable by the Secretary of State bringing civil proceedings in the High Court for an injunction or, in Scotland”.

Will the Minister clarify what provisions will be made in Northern Ireland? Other amendments that we will discuss later thankfully include measures to improve the scope and smooth interface of the legislation vis-à-vis Northern Ireland, which I was at pains to address in Committee. I notice, however, that reference to Northern Ireland is missing from new clause 11, although the reference to Scotland is clear.

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It is a great pleasure to stand up on Report and commend the Government for the progress we have made, but let us be clear that we are a little way along the journey. It is not as if the exploiters of women and children—whether for cheap labour, slave labour or sexual exploitation—are going to quake at the knees because we are passing this Bill, so let us be honest about that. As we try to close the loopholes, increase vigilance, and impose discipline on the trade that the exploiters are involved in, they will change the way they run that trade.

I spent time with the Serious Organised Crime Agency as part of the Government’s great police service parliamentary scheme. It showed us a model that it has drawn up of much of the trafficking that goes on throughout Europe and that it is trying to combat. It looked like a five-dimensional or 10-dimensional spaceship, and had been drawn up by the London School of Economics to show exactly how such organisations work. They are multinational and beyond any discipline; they have no morals and think only about the money at the end of the chain.

In reality, for many people at the “murky” end of the supply chain—that is how it was described by some of the witnesses from whom the Joint Committee took evidence—that is where the abuse takes place. To reach into that is very difficult as we get further and further from the first payment of money from a customer to a company, and the first payment from a company to its supplier, who supplies in a nice neat box with a nice label—it might be a nice T-shirt, for example, that costs £45 but is made by people who get paid 62p an hour and are locked in the factory and not allowed out in case, as the owner said, “They might come back hung-over and not able to work well the next day”. That is what we are dealing with.

We have made some strides, and many people were mentioned in the Joint Committee and the Bill Committee. Some, however, will not be mentioned—the right hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman) has unfortunately left her place, but she took an interest in this matter and went to see the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to talk about the need to include this measure on the supply chain, at a time when we were getting the resistance referred to by my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field). People of good will saw that a Bill that did not refer to supply chains was not in the spirit of the efforts that have been made over the past 10 years by people such as Anthony Steen and the Human Trafficking Foundation, and the EU Parliamentarians against Human Trafficking, who were involved in trying to deal with an international, pan-European and pan-world trade.

When I saw new clause 11, which followed a generous promise by the Minister in the final Committee sitting to introduce a measure on supply chains, I was impressed. It is fairly thorough. There is a lot of bureaucratic writing that I would not necessarily have put into my Bill, not knowing how the mechanisms of the Government’s legislation works in all its depth, but part after part reflects the matters I referred to in my private Member’s Bill in 2012. I thank the Minister and all those who supported that measure for what has been done. We are on a journey and we have a long way to go, even if we pass the Bill and it is effective. We know that there are reservations. They will come up again in the other place to deal with the things that are not dealt with in the amendments and new clauses tabled here.

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The hon. Gentleman makes a valid point that some people will seek to avoid the provisions, but does he accept that that is the case with all forms of criminality, and that the Bill gives us a platform, for the first time, to tackle some of the worst cases of modern-day slavery?

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I have absolutely no reservation in supporting that as a principle. We are doing the right thing. We have set together a number of pieces of legislation in the Bill that will deal with those who will wish to avoid its provisions, and I will mention some of the measures in new clause 11 that I think are effective and welcome.

I am glad that Government amendment 62 says there will be an affirmative resolution for regulations, because it is right that we will go into a Statutory Instrument Committee with them, and that we are given the chance to debate them with the Minister. I will mention some of the things I hope we will discuss when we get there.

New clause 5, which was tabled by my hon. Friends on the use of the Companies Act 2006, is something we should look at, because it is right. The hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes) made the point that we need as many tools as possible as well as the court of public and business displeasure when people do not act as we want. Therefore, we should look at how we can put some firmer things in the Bill, but I think that the big change in the Government’s thinking is to be welcomed, because they are using the principle of the California Act, which is much wider than the Companies Act.

By the way, I notice that the British Retail Consortium wants to include smaller companies. When I introduced my Bill, I used the figure of £100 million. In California, the figure was $100 million, and my amendment used £60 million, which is the equivalent. Clearly, quoted companies under the Companies Act are likely to be well outwith that in size. We want to respond to that and use the same reporting structures as the Act would use.

I tabled amendment (a) to new clause 11 because we should look at international standards. I have respect for the Secretary of State and the civil servants who advise her, but international organisations have looked at the issues again and again. In my Bill, I had a reference to the 1999 International Labour Organisation convention No. 182, which is about the definition of the worst form of child labour, because there can be difficulties with that in other countries.

I will tell a quick tale. When I was 10, I went out and found a job as a milk boy. I wanted to go out and become useful to my family. My brother had a job delivering rolls. I got 10 shillings—50p now—and about 1 shilling and sixpence in tips a week. I walked from the centre of town home and gave my mother 11 shillings and sixpence for the family budget. There were five of us and basically one labourer’s wage. It was not easy to survive. Was that child labour? I did not feel exploited. I loved it—I loved every bit of it. I am sure it is why I am so healthy now in my older age. I ran and ran, and perhaps built up the infrastructure for a long life. It was great and I loved it.

In other situations, people say, “If a woman takes a child with her when she is making bricks in India, at what age does that become a breach of child labour? When is that child able to contribute to a very low family budget and when do they want to do so?” The ILO has looked at those questions but we have not looked at them in great detail in the House. Hopefully, the ILO’s considerations will be used in the recommendations made under new clause 11(8), which is about giving guidance on the information that should be reported.

There is a bit missing from this Bill that was in my Bill: my clause 3 said that there should be some way of ensuring that the company that is found to use such labour provides assistance and protection for the victims of slavery. The guidance should continue that. It should say what a company should do as a benchmark. We should not just say, “We’ll not use that company any more,” but do something about it.

Mention was made of consumers. When I went around talking to people in supermarket networks—Mumdex is in many supermarkets in my area—they had a concern about slavery and the things that bothered their conscience, but they said, “If you’ve got four or five kids coming up to the summer, you buy the cheapest stuff you can get that is going to last the summer, because most of it’s going to be thrown in the bin by the end of the summer anyway. It is the company’s job to make sure I am not buying something that is contaminated by slave labour.” That is totally right. Perhaps some people who go up the high street and buy very highly priced goods ask themselves about that, but most people in my constituents’ environment will not.

I therefore welcome new clause 11(9). It is fantastic to see. If hon. Members read what is on the net about the Bill, they will see that people in Scotland think it has nothing to do with them. They think it is an English Bill. People should look at the new clauses to realise that it is a trans-border, transnational Bill. Subsection (9) states that people in Scotland can take an organisation to the Court of Session to enforce the fact that it is not carrying out the duty in the Bill. That will be very welcome.

I do not know whether the new clause covers Northern Ireland—I had that question in mind because it does not mention Northern Ireland. Do people there go to the Court of Session? Where do they go? Do people in Northern Ireland go to the High Court in England if they feel that a company in Northern Ireland is not doing something they should be doing? I am grateful to the Minister for including Scotland. That is an important measure.

We are making progress and I welcome the proposals. I hope the Government are listening when the Bill goes to the other place because they could add other things to it.

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I, too, was a milk boy, and a butcher’s boy and a paper boy, in my younger days. My hon. Friend has raised the subject of tips many times over the years. My wife and I booked a cruise two years ago through a British travel agent company. The cruise sailed from Southampton. When we spoke to the staff on the cruise, they said they did not receive any wages, and that they only got tips. If that is not modern slavery, I do not know what is. I was not fortunate enough to be on the Joint Committee. Does the Bill cover that?

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I could not quote the legal detail, but I would think that if a company based in the UK did things like that, it could be taken to the Court of Session in Scotland or the High Court in England and found not to be complying with the law.

As a Scot and as an economist, I read Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”. It talks about comparative advantage, but before that, he wrote a document about the morals of competition. The good thing about the Bill is that it says, “We believe in competition.” We are not talking about pricing people out of the market entirely. We are saying that it must be morally justifiable as well as economically justifiable.

I want to finish with a response to one of my constituents, who, when it was reported that we were discussing the Bill, wrote in an e-mail blog: “What’s that got to do with creating employment in Scotland and your constituency?” The reality is that, if we can stop people using cheap labour, and particularly slave labour at the worst end, we give British companies the chance to compete better. That is why the BRC is behind the Bill. If there is a voluntary code, the bad companies just will not comply, whereas if there is a mandatory code and if we can take people to law to enforce it, everyone must do the right thing or be held to account.

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I will not detain the House for long as we have other matters to come on to, but I want to make a few closing remarks.

This has been a very good debate and I am very grateful to all right hon. and hon. Members who have contributed to it. I think we can safely say that all those who have made contributions are great campaigners on this issue. They all deserve credit for getting us to this point, and they have changed the views of so many.

The Government have taken their position from the evidence in the discussions and debates we have had with business and others on the best way to tackle this issue. The point was made that the Companies Act 2006 has already been amended to ensure that human rights are respected in companies’ annual reports. We considered whether that, and measures coming forward from the EU, would be enough. We consulted fully with business to ensure we did not take action rashly that would have been ineffective. Many people have campaigned on this issue for many years, but we wanted to ensure that the measures would be effective, appropriate and proportionate. Representations have been made to me, particularly by smaller businesses. It has been important for us to consult properly and fully. We have listened to businesses and taken the point that the way to achieve the transparency we all want is to introduce the Bill. We want businesses to start to act as soon possible. They do not need to wait for the Bill—they can start now.

The right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field) referred to the mass consumer movement and he is absolutely right that Fairtrade is a model. We consulted the Fairtrade Foundation on how it approached this matter and how it managed to make the public aware of fair trade to the extent that Biddulph and Leek in my constituency are Fairtrade towns. That happened because people wanted it to happen. The Bill seeks to enhance that and to add to it.

Points were made about tougher enforcement. We do not expect companies to ignore the new disclosure duty, but rightly the injunction procedure is there so that if a company does fail to disclose as required, the courts can force it to do so.

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I am sure the Minister is aware that one of the common tactics used by banks when subject to regulatory action is to get rid of middle management, settle with the regulator at the earliest opportunity and profit from the 30% discount as a way of mitigating the fact that they have been caught out by enforcement breaches without actually changing their culture. Is there not a risk of the same thing happening with these injunctions?

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I hope that businesses will act in a way that deals with this problem. That is what businesses told us they want to do. They want to ensure there is no slavery in their supply chains, and consumers and others want to see that too. I hope that will be the case.

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On consumer action, what are the Government’s intentions with regard to public procurement, because the public purse will be a significant consumer? On sourcing and supplying, will there be a Government public procurement standard for companies?

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I addressed that point briefly in my opening comments, but I will come on to it again in a moment. I will just finish the point about enforcement.

The courts can force companies to disclose, but that is different from the issue that some companies may make disclosures that consumers, shareholders and campaigners feel show that inadequate steps are being taken to eliminate slavery from supply chains. The courts can act if no disclosure is made, but there is action that civil society can take if it feels that companies are not making appropriate disclosures. The Government believe it is for civil society to put pressure on businesses that are not doing enough to eliminate modern slavery from their supply chains. The Government’s new clause makes this as easy as possible by ensuring that disclosures are easily accessible. The link to disclosure must be in a prominent place on a business’s website home page.

Before coming on to public sector procurement, I would like to address the concerns expressed by the hon. Member for Foyle (Mark Durkan) on the extent of the new clause. I can confirm that the new clause on supply chains will apply to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This is made plain by later amendments to be taken later. I want to put it on the record that I am grateful to the Northern Ireland Executive and all the devolved Administrations for the excellent work we have done together to ensure that this provision can extend to the entire UK. He will know, from our discussions in Committee, that there were points on which we needed agreement—not just on this matter, but on many others as well. I am pleased that we have made so much progress. It was important throughout that this was not Westminster imposing on the devolved Administrations. Action has been taken because the devolved Administrations wanted to take that action.

On public sector procurement, all public sector suppliers are required to comply with applicable law, including relevant human rights and employment rights law. UK public procurement policy is that social, environmental or ethical issues can be taken into account in the procurement process where that is relevant, proportionate and non-discriminatory. We expect public sector procurement to be as transparent as other procurement, which is covered elsewhere. We will consult on this matter, and I encourage people who are concerned to respond to the consultation. It should be noted that whatever action is taken will be taken only following the affirmative procedure to ensure that Parliament has its say. We will ensure that points are put forward.

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The Minister speaks very well on Parliament giving affirmative support to these proposals. Does she envisage that being given before the first week of May next year? [Interruption.]

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The shadow Minister makes the point that perhaps that needs to be by the end of March, if the right hon. Gentleman is asking whether it will happen before the general election. I cannot answer that question at the moment. Perhaps I could write to him on the specifics.

I am delighted that new clause 11 will amend the Bill to include the measure on transparency in supply chains that so many have worked so tirelessly for, for so long. I hope right hon. and hon. Members will not press their amendments to a Division. I look forward to this measure being part of the world-class Bill we all wish to create.

Question put and agreed to.

New clause 11 accordingly read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 3

Offence of child exploitation

‘(1) A person commits an offence if they exploit a child.

(2) It shall be such an offence even if there was no threat or use of violence, other forms of coercion, deception or any abuse of a position of vulnerability.

(3) A child may be in a situation of exploitation whether or not—

(a) escape from the situation is practically possible for the child; or

(b) the child has attempted to escape from the situation.

(4) The consent or apparent consent of the child to the exploitation is irrelevant.

(5) “Child Exploitation” includes but is not limited to, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation; the exploitation of labour or services including begging or practices similar to slavery, servitude or forced or compulsory labour; the exploitation of or for criminal activities including benefit fraud; the removal of organs; forced or servile marriage or enforced surrogacy; exploitation for unlawful adoption; and exploitation by enforced drugs smuggling, manufacture, production or distribution.”—(Diana Johnson.)

Brought up, and read the First time.

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I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

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With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

New clause 4—Offence of exploitation—

‘(1) A person commits an offence if they exploit a person by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or abuse of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person.

(2) A person may be in a situation of exploitation whether or not—

(a) escape from the situation is practically possible for the person; or

(b) the person has attempted to escape from the situation.

(3) The consent or apparent consent of the person of the exploitation is irrelevant where any of the means set forth in section 9(1) has been used.’

New clause 24—Human trafficking—

‘(1) Any person who for the purpose of exploiting a person or persons—

(a) recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives a person including by exchange or transfer of control over that or those persons;

(b) by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or abuse of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person,

commits an offence of human trafficking.

(2) The consent or apparent consent of a person to the acts referred to in subsection 2(1)(a) or to the exploitation shall be irrelevant where any of the means set forth in subsection 2(1)(b) have been used.’

New clause 20—Control of assets related to modern slavery offences—

‘(1) In section 40 (Restraint orders) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 after subsection (9) insert—

“(10) In the case of an investigation or prosecution under the Modern Slavery Act the court shall presume that the alleged offender will dissipate his assets unless restrained.”

(2) The Secretary of State shall within six months of this Act coming into force bring forward regulations to—

(a) presume a freezing order will be granted within 24 hours in respect of assets where the court is satisfied that—

(i) there are reasonable grounds to suspect that some of those assets have been obtained as a result of an offence under this Act, and

(ii) those assets are over and above those reasonably required for living and business expenses.

(b) confer on the police power to issue a notice on financial advisers and institutions placing a duty of care on those institutions in respect of movement of assets that might hinder an investigation into an offence under this Act.

(3) The Chancellor of the Exchequer shall within six months of this Act coming into force bring forward regulations to provide that assets recovered in respect of an offence under this Act shall be paid to one or more of—

(a) the police and/or,

(b) the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, and

(c) the victim or victims of the offence.

(4) The court will require an asset declaration from anyone subject to a restraint order within 24 hours in respect of any financial interests in assets held in whole or in part in the United Kingdom and in overseas territories. In the event of a false declaration, this will be treated as an aggregated factor in the setting of any future penalty.

(5) Regulations under this section shall be made by statutory instrument and shall not be made unless laid before in draft and approved by both Houses of Parliament.’

New clause 21—Civil remedy—

‘(1) An individual who is a victim of an offence under section 1, 2 or 4 may bring a civil action against the perpetrator in the County Court and may recover damages and reasonable legal costs.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) “damages” shall include the greater of the gross income or value to the defendant of the victim’s services or labour or the value of the victim’s labour as guaranteed under the national minimum wage guarantees of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.”

This provision creates a civil remedy for victims of trafficking, to allow victims to pursue a civil claim for compensation directly from the trafficker in the absence of a criminal prosecution.

Amendment 132, in clause 1, page 1, line 12, at end insert—

‘(c) the person exploits another person within the meaning of section 3(4), (5) or (6) of this Act and the circumstances are such that the person knows or ought to know that the other person is being exploited.”

Amendment 135, page 1, line 12, at end insert—

‘(1A) For the purposes of this Act—

(a) it is irrelevant whether a child consents to being held in slavery or servitude; and

(b) a child may be in a condition of slavery, servitude or forced or compulsory labour whether or not—

(i) escape from the condition is practically possible; or

(ii) the child has attempted to escape from the condition.”

Amendment 136, page 1, line 12, at end insert—

‘(1A) For the purposes of this Act—

(a) it is irrelevant whether a person consents to being held in slavery or servitude; and

(b) a person may be in a condition of slavery, servitude or forced or compulsory labour whether or not—

(i) escape from the condition is practically possible; or

(ii) the person has attempted to escape from the condition.”

Amendment 133, page 1, line 17, after “labour”, insert “or is being exploited”

Amendment 143, page 2, line 3, at end add—

‘(5) The consent or apparent consent of a person to the acts referred to in subsections 1(1)(a) or 1(1)(b) shall be irrelevant.”

Amendment 152, page 2, line 4, leave out clause 2.

Amendment 134, page 2, line 30, clause 3, at end insert—

‘(1A) For the purposes of section (1) a person is exploited only if one or more of subsections (4), (5) or (6) of this section apply in relation to the person.”

Amendment 151, in clause 7, page 4, line 30, at end insert—

00 “Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

In section 69, subsection (2) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, after “debt owned by the Crown”, insert—

“(e) in the case of an investigation or prosecution under the Modern Slavery Act the court must presume that the alleged offender will dissipate his assets unless restrained.””

Amendment 138, in clause 41, page 29, line 29, at end add—

‘(9) A child is not guilty of an offence if—

(a) he or she was under the age of 18 when the act which constitutes the offence was done; and

(b) the offence was integral to or consequent on the trafficking, slavery or exploitation of which he or she was a victim.”

This amendment aims to ensure a child victim of trafficking is not obliged to prove they were compelled to commit an offence before being able to access the protection of the statutory defence in line with international standards.

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New clause 3 and new clause 4 seek to introduce specific offences for child and adult exploitation, and I would like to test the opinion of the House at the appropriate time.

The Bill fails to cover cases of severe labour exploitation, and many recent high profile cases show we need specific laws to tackle it. New clause 3 would also help to stop workers being exploited and paid below the minimum wage, which is often a driving force behind local businesses being undercut by unscrupulous employers. The new clause would be a historic measure that would, for the first time, make the exploitation of workers, adults and children an offence. Importantly, it also addresses what has been described as “a lacuna” in the Bill, which fails to recognise the specific nature of exploitation of children in the UK and fails to address the issues that have led to so few successful prosecutions for child trafficking and slavery. This grouping incorporates a series of amendments from all parties with a common aim—to enable more prosecutions for trafficking, slavery or exploitation. This is exactly in line with what the Minister said repeatedly in Committee about getting more prosecutions.

At this stage, the Opposition are focusing specifically on the offences of exploitation, even though in Committee we tabled or supported many of the other amendments that have been tabled today. We support their aims and hope to return to them in the other place.

The Government claim that the Bill will enable more prosecutions. To do so, it transposes existing offences from three pieces of legislation into a single Bill. The Bill maintains the current offence of holding someone in slavery and merges two existing offences of human trafficking into a single offence of human trafficking. To secure a prosecution for human trafficking, it is necessary to show that X was trafficked and that this trafficking was done for the purposes of exploitation. It is important to stress that, because nothing in the Bill deals with the structures of these offences or the very high threshold needed to get convictions. In short, I do not think there is anything here that will enable more prosecutions.

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Is the hon. Lady as surprised as I am that, as far as I am aware, only one person has ever gone to jail for breach of a Gangmasters Licensing Authority offence? Does that speak to the high hurdles to which she alludes?

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The hon. Gentleman makes a very important point. We shall discuss the GLA later, but the hon. Gentleman’s point shows why we need to think again about the offences in the Bill and how we can make them stronger to ensure that we get more prosecutions.

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Does the hon. Lady agree that the offence of exploitation ought to be committed even when the threat of force is against someone other than the person being exploited—against a relative of the person who is being exploited, for example?

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The right hon. Gentleman makes an important point, which should perhaps be debated more fully in the other place. I absolutely agree that this is a strong point that needs to be considered.

Returning to the low number of prosecutions, in 2011-12 there were 15 prosecutions for slavery offences, but no convictions. Since the introduction of the offence, there has shockingly never been a prosecution where the victim was a child. In 2011, there were 150 prosecutions for trafficking offences, but only eight convictions. To put those figures in context, in 2013 the national referral mechanism received 1,746 separate referrals of cases of human trafficking, 432 of them involving minors. The UK Human Trafficking Centre identified 2,744 victims of human trafficking last year, 600 of whom were deemed to be children.

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One problem—not necessarily about the offences per se—is getting the victims to bear witness and testify against those who trafficked them. Victims’ fear is one reason we are not getting successful convictions, and we need to do more for them.

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I absolutely agree with the right hon. Gentleman about the need to ensure that victims feel able to come forward and give evidence against those who have trafficked them, but I still think that we need to get the offences right and ensure that the offences are fit for purpose—an argument that I shall develop.

The new clause in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield Central (Paul Blomfield) is designed to address some of the structural problems with the drafting of the trafficking offence, and I want to put it on record that we fully support it. The amendments tabled by the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes) are designed to clarify the law on slavery to enable more prosecutions. I am sure that he will speak eloquently to those amendments. Again, we support what he is trying to achieve in principle.

What we are trying to establish is the principle that there should be separate offences for exploitation. The Opposition’s view is that this is the most effective way of overcoming the substantial barriers currently in place in getting convictions. I take into account as well what the right hon. Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Sir John Randall) said about victims and giving evidence.

To explain why our approach is needed, I want to turn to the evidence of Lord Judge, who was until recently the Lord Chief Justice and the most senior criminal judge in the country. He said of this Bill:

“We are making provisions for slavery, servitude and compulsory labour in clause 1 of the Bill. In Clause 2, trafficking is the offence. It becomes an offence because you do it with a view to exploitation. You could have an offence of trafficking, full stop, and a separate offence of exploitation. As it stands at the moment, you have a single offence with two parts—here is the trafficking and here it is with a view to exploitation. My own view is that trafficking in people is a dreadful thing to do, trafficking with a view to exploiting them is a more serious thing to do, but exploiting them is also serious. My concern reading Clause 2 and the various subclauses is ‘Is this really what we want?’—a single offence that has two ingredients, rather than two separate offences.”

Lord Judge is not the only senior lawyer to think this is needed, so let me turn to the evidence given to the Committee by Nadine Finch, a barrister specialising in children’s law. She said:

“In terms of child exploitation, in my view, as somebody who represents a lot of child victims, it is a real lacuna. Children are at a huge disadvantage in evidential terms. They very rarely understand they have been trafficked—what trafficking means—or what kind of evidence is needed. They particularly do not understand the movement part of being trafficked to the situation of exploitation; because they may well have been duped by their elders—by their parents. They may well have been too frightened, or not understood the movement. Therefore, children are more likely to be able to tell you about what happened to them when they were exploited than to be able to tell you about what happened to them when they were actually moved, or when travel was involved. That is a really important issue.”

She went on to say:

“Many of my child clients can tell me about what happened when they were exploited in domestic servitude, in a restaurant or in prostitution; but they actually did not understand enough about the links between people who brought them across England, Europe or the world, and therefore they are not able to assist the police or prosecutors in terms of a trafficking offence. They can assist in the matter of exploitation, and I have got quite a few children who have been able to take the police to a house where they have been kept in domestic servitude or sexual exploitation, but they are not able to explain who brought them to that house, and therefore no prosecution happens.”

So, two eminent lawyers, a whole coalition of children’s charities and the Joint Committee on the draft Bill all recommend specific adult and child exploitation offences.

I quoted Nadine Finch’s evidence at length because I think the House really should consider her experiences of these cases, and I think she encapsulates very well the problem with the current drafting. I also think we should consider this in the light of recent UK cases, particularly the sexual exploitation of girls in Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and elsewhere. We know that thousands of girls were exploited and abused, but little was done and few prosecutions were attempted. These girls were neither trafficked, nor held in slavery, but they were exploited, and putting specific offences in the Bill would move the legislative framework from one looking at individual sexual acts—who was present, was there consent and so forth—to one in which exerting control over a course of behaviour is more important. It is my view—and that of the charities and lawyers I work with—that this will enable more prosecutions, which we all want to see.

Given what we have learned recently about the scale of exploitation, and particularly in view of the report by my hon. Friend the Member for Stockport (Ann Coffey), I believe that we now have to look again and ask the Government to reconsider their approach to these offences.

New clause 4 is specifically about adults. There is a higher threshold in establishing exploitation but the principle is the same: exploitation should be a separate offence. That is illustrated best with a few case studies. Craig Kinsella was held captive by the Rooke family in Sheffield and forced to work from 7.30 in the morning until midnight for no pay. He slept in a garage. He was starved and beaten with a spade, a crowbar and a pickaxe. He was not trafficked into the country; he was a British national. He had even voluntarily moved in with the family, but was then subjected to appalling abuse and exploitation. There was extensive evidence of this abuse, including from the Rookes’ own CCTV system. The Rookes were convicted, but not of slavery or of trafficking; rather they were convicted of false imprisonment and other lesser offences.

Gheorge Ionas, 35, exploited fellow Romanian migrants. He forced them to live in unheated buildings without sanitation, paid them as little as £100 a week for full-time work and made them scavenge for food from supermarket bins. Mr Ionas was fined just £500 for operating as a gangmaster without a licence.

Police in Kent described a similar situation where they came across 29 Lithuanian chicken catchers. Seventeen of these people gave written evidence and statements, which included beatings, theft of their wages, living with anything up to 12 people in a two-bedroom house, bedbug-ridden mattresses, dogs being set on workers, being held in the back of a Transit van for up to five to six days at a time without any ablutions—no washing or toilet facilities—being driven from job to job and not being paid for their full hours. The police thought this was criminal conduct but the CPS said there was not enough evidence to prosecute. No action was taken.

Following this case the evidence from Detective Inspector Roberts of Kent police to the draft Bill Committee was clear:

“Certainly within Kent, we have had quite considerable difficulty in working out what is criminal exploitation, particularly labour exploitation, where people are working very, very long hours in difficult circumstances. If you asked an average member of the British public whether that person was being exploited, they are, but because of their circumstances they are allowing themselves to be exploited and to remain within circumstances of exploitation.”

With the number of these cases growing, the evidence is now overwhelming that we need specific legislation to stop these people being exploited and to stop British workers being undercut.

In conclusion, the aim of the amendments is to prosecute those who traffick and exploit, but we must also recognise the amendment in this group that seeks to prevent those who have been trafficked from being prosecuted. That is an equally worthy cause and is particularly important in relation to children. It is quite frankly a disgrace that more trafficked children are being prosecuted than their traffickers. Labour welcomed the inclusion in the Bill of a statutory defence, though as was made clear both in evidence to the Committee and in discussion, this amendment does not do enough to protect children.

Therefore, we support the principle of amendment 138 tabled by the hon. Member for Foyle (Mark Durkan), which seeks to clarify that children can be trafficked without being compelled—something that is recognised in clause 2, but not in clause 41. Labour supported amendments to this end in Committee and does so again here. The drafting of amendment 138 is slightly broader than we think is appropriate, and we do not want to exempt children necessarily from either the reasonable person test or schedule 3. But the principle that children should be able to rely on the defence without proving compulsion is one we support and will seek to address in the other place.

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The Modern Slavery Bill recognises our obligations under article 4 of the European convention on human rights and the 2005 European convention on action against trafficking of human beings, both of which will have informed section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, which made it an offence to hold a person in slavery or servitude or to require them to perform forced or compulsory labour.

This Bill will replace section 71 of the 2009 Act but I believe there is a further and somewhat different menace that needs our attention. New clause 4 comes close to identifying it, which is why I have put my name to it. I am not sure that I can follow the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson) into the Lobby if she does force a Division on the new clause, and I suppose I am being somewhat disingenuous as I am using the new clause as a peg to talk about this further and different menace.

I want to urge upon the Government a few thoughts of my own on the subject of exploitation of vulnerable people. We have laws to protect children and those under a mental incapacity through intellectual impairment or disability or the effects of old age. We can prosecute those who take old and frail people's money through fraud and deception, but we leave unprotected adults who may succumb to pressure exerted upon them by others of malevolent intent but whose exploitative activities currently do not come within the criminal law.

I have in mind some young adult women whose experiences have been brought to my attention by their parents and families, some of whom have contacted other right hon. and hon. Members. In essence they have been brainwashed—I use the term unscientifically—or suborned by quack counsellors who have persuaded them to break off all contact with their parents and siblings and to pay them fees for the so-called counselling. Some of these young women are well-off and, I assume, suggestible but all of them for no apparent reason have broken off all contact with their families.

France and Belgium now have laws to criminalise the behaviour of these predatory charlatans—these quacks—who exploit others in a state of emotional or psychological weakness for financial or other gain. It must be assumed that these laws do not conflict with those articles of the ECHR that protect the rights to private and family life, to freedom of expression and to association or religion.

France has made it an offence to abuse the ignorance or state of weakness of a minor or of a person whose particular vulnerability due to age, sickness, infirmity to a psychological or physical disability or to pregnancy is apparent or known to the offender, or to abuse a person in a state of physical or psychological dependency resulting from serious or repeated pressure or from techniques used to affect his judgment in order to induce the minor or other person to act or abstain from acting in any way seriously harmful to him. That is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to €375,000. Where the offence is committed by the legal or de facto manager of a group that carries out activities, the aim or effect of which is to create, maintain or exploit the psychological or physical dependency of those who participate in them, the penalty is increased to five years’ imprisonment and to a fine of €750,000. I hope the House will forgive my somewhat inadequate translation of the French into English. But that is what the law says in France.

I accept that to create a new law as outlined by new clause 4 will not be easy but that is not a good reason not to try if the idea is a sound one. I can see that this short debate is not the best place to do this, but may I set out one way of considering whether any proposed offence will work by looking at the following questions? Is it prosecutable in theory and in practice? Can each of the elements of the offence be proved in a real life example? Does the measure deal with the mischief that is identified, and will it catch no one else? How will it affect partners, husbands, wives, teachers, gurus, salesmen, priests and employers, all of whom are likely to have power and influence? Will it allow the mentally capable who decide to give their fortunes away and leave their families to do so? Will it make sufficiently clear what is criminal behaviour and what is not? Will it comply with the European convention on human rights? What effect will it have on religious freedom or freedom of expression or association? That is unquestionably where we shall encounter the greatest controversy, because I suspect that it will not be enough to say that the measure does not outlaw any particular doctrine. If it is used to curtail a religious practice, freedom of religion will clearly be affected.

I have attempted to break the potential offence into a number of component parts or elements so that we can—or, I hope, the Home Office can—better construct the offence that is proposed in the new clause. I wish to criminalise behaviour that is characterised by four factors. The first is persistent or repeated pressure on a person. We shall need to be more specific about what constitutes pressure, and about the techniques employed. We shall also need to consider such questions as whether someone has a pre-existing weakness that can be exploited, or is of ordinary firmness but then becomes enfeebled or vulnerable by virtue of the exploitative pressure. The French law which I mentioned earlier specifies two offences: fraudulently taking advantage of someone who is already weak, and pressurising someone who thereby becomes weak.

The second factor that we should consider is the intention of a person that causes another person to act to his or her own detriment. Should it be financial detriment, emotional detriment, social or family detriment, or any other kind of detriment?

Thirdly, we need to consider whether the activity concerned must take place in the context of a group that engages in behaviour of this kind. Under French law, if the leader or manager of a group is found guilty, that constitutes an aggravating factor, and the penalties are increased. In France, the law is aimed unashamedly at cults and sects. Perhaps, if the Minister is prepared to think about this form of exploitation, she should think about that as well. We also need to think more widely about, for instance, exploitative jihadist groups that suborn and seduce young people into going around the world to cause trouble for others and, indeed, for themselves.

I anticipate a difficulty. Once we move into the group element, we touch on the borders of religion. However, I think that we need to be brave, and to remind ourselves that there is a world of difference between a religion and an eccentric sect. If we do not include the group element, and allow one-to-one pressure alone to trigger the offence, we shall become involved in arguments about unequal domestic relationships, high-pressure selling or evangelists, and may fail to catch the charlatan counsellors whose activities have been brought to my attention.

Fourthly, we need to think about whether the offence will be complete only if the result of the pressure is that the person’s will is indeed suborned, and the person does indeed do something to his or her detriment.

For reasons of time alone, I have compressed my thoughts, and I have unashamedly borrowed the new clause for the purposes of this short debate. I hope that, once the Home Office has had a chance to digest what I have said in a rather garbled way this afternoon, it will think about it carefully. I think that the issue is of much wider interest than may now be apparent to the Minister. We have already discussed it informally, but I hope that she and her officials, and others in the Government—from the Home Secretary upwards and downwards—will give considerable further thought to it.

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rose

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Order. I remind Members that, as a result of the timetable set by the Government, the debate on this group of amendments and new clauses must end at 4 pm, and I must allow time for the Minister to respond. I should be grateful if Members would bear that in mind when making their speeches.

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I will indeed bear that in mind, Madam Deputy Speaker, and will speak briefly, although I think that the issues that I wish to raise are fairly substantial. While I agree with all who have congratulated the Members on both sides of the House who have brought us to this point, I think that there is still a lack of action on key issues, and that the Bill, as it stands, falls a long way short of providing justice for victims of slavery.

There are three core gaps in the Bill. First, we need to get the definitions right, which is the aim of my new clause 24. If we do not do that, we shall risk leaving open legal loopholes that will allow traffickers to thrive. Secondly, the Bill must deliver for victims, which is the aim of new clause 21. Thirdly, there are issues in relation to prevention, which I hope to address later in the debate around new clause 1.

The definition of human trafficking was established in an internationally binding treaty and was integrated into the national laws of some 134 countries. That definition brings with it significant victim protection and a comprehensive framework for addressing trafficking, which is why I propose that we return to that in new clause 24. Unlike the international definition of trafficking, the trafficking provision in this Bill does not criminalise the “harbouring” or the “reception” or the

“exchange or transfer of control”

of victims or even the “recruitment” of victims where those acts do not involve the arrangement or facilitation of travel. We should recognise that there is a real problem in cases involving large criminal networks where different people take different roles in the trafficking process. There is also a problem where victims arrange their own travel into and around the UK and to the site of exploitation, as often occurs when individuals are deceived about work conditions or conditions deteriorate over time. The Bill’s definition, which is narrowly focused on the movement of victims, adds nothing but confusion and will let traffickers off the hook for the crimes they commit, as my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson) pointed out.

Let me turn briefly to the purpose of new clause 21. In its current form, it is hard to see what this Bill would provide for the 40 Hungarian men found last year living in squalid conditions and forced to work for less than £2 a day in a mattress factory in Dewsbury, west Yorkshire. The men were barely surviving on limited food. They were crammed into a two-bedroom flat and threatened with violence if they resisted. They were exploited by gangmasters who supplied their forced labour to a factory run by the bed manufacturer KozeeSleep, which provides its products to some of our major national retailers.

Those victims of human trafficking have a right to compensation for the appalling wrongs that have been inflicted upon them. Clauses 8 and 9 include provisions for reparation orders to be made in cases where the perpetrator is convicted and a confiscation order is made, but from 2011 to 2013 only 252 trafficking and forced labour cases were prosecuted, and just 78 of them—less than a third—resulted in convictions. Not only are conviction rates low, but compensation orders are rare. The Government do not keep statistics on this, but we know from victim support providers that they are few and far between. I have tabled new clause 21 to allow victims themselves to bring civil claims in the county court, to seek compensation directly from the trafficker—not from the public purse—in the many cases where a criminal prosecution has not been possible. A similar provision is currently in use in the US Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act 2003, and is frequently used successfully to secure compensation for trafficking victims.

These steps are essential to get a Bill that makes a difference to the lives of victims. We must get the very foundations of this Bill right by aligning our definitions with international law and, where people are exploited, making absolutely sure that they are compensated for the abuse suffered. I recognise that we may not get that through agreement on these amendments today, but I hope that these issues will be addressed when the Bill is debated in another place. These measures, together with real action on prevention, can make the difference between a Bill that will deliver headlines and a Bill that will deliver justice.

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The official figures for this year showed that more people were trafficked for labour exploitation than for sexual exploitation. The crux of that is money, and new clause 20, which is supported by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field) and my right hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Sir John Randall), seeks to identify how we can make it easier to recover money from criminals and strike at the heart of what is driving this trafficking trade.

There are two reasons why at present we recover so little from this organised crime. According to the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, we currently recover just 23p in every £100 that is identified as criminal assets. That has two results. First, increased pressure is placed on law enforcement agencies when, at a time of austerity and many other demands, investment in forensic investigators is often not a priority. The second reason relates to the high hurdles relating to evidence, which create a disincentive for the Crown Prosecution Service to apply for restraint orders. If there is insufficient evidence, the CPS can incur costs through losing an application. The resulting delay in freezing assets often means that they can be difficult to trace and expensive to identify. The Joint Committee has looked at this matter.

The new clause seeks to make it easier to freeze assets within the first 24 or 48 hours. I know that my right hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip has spoken in the House previously on the merits of that, and of learning from the example in Italy. Amendment 151 seeks to achieve that in relation to the presumption about criminal assets being dissipated post-arrest. We need to give the police a clearer incentive to invest in forensic investigators. If I were a chief constable, why would I make such an investment this year if I knew that it would take several years to recover the money, and that if the money were recovered, the Home Office would take 50% of it? We need to change that. We need to overcome the objections of the Home Office and the Treasury so that those who carry out the investigations are those who benefit from the assets that are secured, once the victims have been compensated.

We also need to place a higher duty on financial advisers. At the moment—I say this having worked for such an institution—it is very easy to hide behind a suspicious activity report. In essence, that report is a defensive mechanism, and more than 350,000 are filed with the Serious Organised Crime Agency each year. At the point of an arrest following an investigation by financial investigators, a higher duty should be placed on financial institutions, should they then choose to move the assets in question. We should freeze any assets over and above those that are required for reasonable living and business costs, so that money can less easily be moved offshore. We should also require an asset declaration that could be used to demonstrate an aggravating factor, should assets that had not been declared be discovered following further investigation.

There is a suggestion from the Home Office that some of these issues will be addressed in the Serious Crime Bill, but it is clear that it will not address many of the matters that have been raised in the Joint Committee and by Members here today, so I hope that the Minister will look again at the extent to which the measures in this Bill that relate to the financial proceeds of crime can be strengthened so that we can tackle the root cause of the problem—namely, the funds.

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I also wish to speak on that theme, Madam Deputy Speaker. I know you will be pleased to hear that we will not press the matter to a vote, but we hope that the Minister will pick up the idea and translate it into effect in the other place. The change involved would be quite simple. The whole House agrees that we want to get more money back from these evil people. At the moment, we can start the process of freezing assets on the day the investigation begins. However, we have to prove that the person with the assets is likely to dissipate them around the world. The proposed change would mean that any agency attempting to freeze assets under the provisions of this Bill—which I hope will soon become an Act—would not be required to meet any threshold of proof that the person would otherwise dissipate them. That would make a huge difference to the number of people we hope will be prosecuted, as they could then have their assets frozen. There would then be a ready source of moneys with which the Government could make good on their wish to compensate the victims of slavery. Also, as my hon. Friend the Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay) —as I call him on many of these occasions—has pointed out, those moneys could be used to help to pay for the policing involved, which would make the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 more effective.

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Before I call Mr David Burrowes, I must ask him to bear it in mind that we have one more speaker on this group of amendments. If he and Mr Durkan could each speak for about four minutes, that would give the Minister time to reply before 4 o’clock.

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I rise to commend my hon. Friend the Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay), particularly for his new clause 20, which I support. Many have said that we need to follow the money, but we also need to recover it and ensure that it gets to the right places, not least law enforcement agencies. I am aware from previous discussions about proceeds of crime that it becomes a territorial issue, not least within the Government. It is important, and it is very much in the Minister’s and Department’s self-interest, to ensure that the money is recovered and that it goes where we want it to in law enforcement. So I very much commend the purpose of the new clause.

I will speak briefly to amendments 132, 133 and 134, continuing the debate we had in Committee about the importance of recognising and prosecuting exploitation, whether or not a person has been trafficked, and where the form of exploitation cannot be construed as slavery, servitude or forced labour. I will not go over old ground. I am grateful for the Minister’s letter following the debate, where she sought to reassure the Committee that such situations are covered by the definition of “forced labour” in European Court of Human Rights case law and the Court’s understanding of that as “all work or service.” My concern is that we should not just rely on European jurisprudence and we need to take the opportunity to have clarity in the Bill, not least for front-line officers, who are trying to use all the tools in the box. We will have the guidance that the Minister says is going to come, but we need greater clarity on the wider understanding of “exploitation”.

The Minister also provided reassurance by saying that situations of begging, benefit fraud and petty criminality can be covered by prosecution for other offences. I hear that, but I have concerns relating to those other offences, not least those involving assisting or encouraging another offence, for example, begging or theft. That would mean that to prosecute exploitation we would be relying on construing the victim not as a victim, but as an offender, aided or encouraged by their exploiter. We recognise that the victims are the victims, and we need to ensure that “exploitation” covers the entire range of modern day slavery. Further work can be done on that, perhaps in the other place. She also said that other penalties can be attracted, but I am not convinced that they are sufficient, given the nature of these offences. So I ask for further consideration of a wider construction of “exploitation”. We also need to ensure, as my proposal seeks to do, that that construction covers the nasty exploitation of children. We have the definition of exploitation in clauses 3(5) and 3(6) and this is about widening the construction in the way that the Minister and all of us want, particularly in relation to children.

Finally, I wish to flag up the issue of consent. That is a live issue, where work still needs to be done. We all agree on the law; the issue is whether it should be explicit in the Bill, avoiding the Minister’s concerns about it getting in the way of prosecution and about relying on evidence where consent is an issue, but making it clear that what we all say—

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We have no time, but I just want to put on the record that I agree with the hon. Gentleman.

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I thank the hon. Lady very much. I am sure we can find a way of putting in the Bill our understanding that consent is irrelevant here, particularly in relation to children. As for what is in case law, let us get a form of words in the Bill that ensures that we increase the prosecutions for slavery, particularly in relation to children.

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The hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson) referred to my amendment 138, which is mainly what I wish to address. However, I fully endorse what the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes) said about the amendments standing in his name and the wider issue of consent, which is also touched upon in amendment 143.

Amendment 138 aims to make good a clear deficit in the Government’s provision in the Bill for a statutory defence. That defence is inadequate and certainly is not fit to deal with the position of children. The amendment seeks to change that so that child victims of trafficking would be fully protected. Clearly, children have already suffered if they are detained in the process, and if they find themselves subject to a prosecution or even the speculation about a prosecution. That becomes traumatic for children who have come through trafficking, slavery or exploitation, as it would for any victim. So it would be wrong to have a requirement that children have to show that there was compulsion—that should not exist in law. The presence of any other means including compulsion should be irrelevant when defining a child as a victim of trafficking or exploitation. Children in such a situation will be frightened, confused and traumatised. They should not face further isolation and distress and all the other psychological pressures as they go through what will be to them a fairly unknown process.

Despite the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines, children are still prosecuted. It should be an imperative for us in this legislation to stop that occurring in the future, and this Bill provides us with an opportunity to do that.

I point out to the Minister that in July the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child urged the Government, in relation to trafficked children and to all children covered by the optional protocol on the sale of children, to establish

“a clear obligation of non-prosecution in the criminal justice system and ensuring that [children] are treated as victims rather than criminals by law enforcement and judicial authorities.”

Basically, that is what amendment 138 tries to do; it tries to bring the Bill up to that standard. However, I recognise that there is the wrinkle in relation to schedule 3, and for that reason amendment 138 addresses a very important issue that needs to be considered further. I will not be pressing the matter to a Division, because, as the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North has said, there is an outstanding issue in connection with it.

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I am grateful to all Members for tabling and speaking to a number of amendments that relate to the offences set out in clauses 1 and 2, the ability to seize the assets of those convicted of offences and the defence for victims who are compelled to commit an offence, as outlined in clause 41.

We had a thorough, detailed and lively debate on the offences and their practical application in Committee. I am extremely grateful to all Members of this House and others who have contributed to the debates on the offences and have made their thoughts known to the Government to enable us to continue our thinking.

I made it clear in Committee that the Government’s approach is to consolidate and simplify existing offences into a single Act, which will make it easier for law enforcers to understand. We want to see clear offences that can be used effectively by prosecutors and others to convict serious criminals who will now face a potential life sentence.

The offences in the Bill deliberately tackle serious criminal conduct that can be said to amount to modern slavery. Given the time available and the amount of discussion that we have had, I want to put it on the record at this stage that the Government continue to listen to all points that are made on this matter. We want to ensure that we reflect the concerns that have been raised and that we have clear and simple offences that achieve the convictions that we all want. Members should remember that we are looking here at international conventions and protocols that are written in civil law, which is a different type of law. Putting them straight into UK common law sometimes creates unintended consequences, and I am keen to ensure that we do not do that.

Clause 1 targets those who hold a person in slavery or servitude or who require another person to perform forced or compulsory labour in this country, without any requirements for movement. The clause 2 offence targets a different type of wrongdoing, which is the movement of human beings with a view to exploiting them. That different type of wrongdoing has been the subject of international legal instruments such as the Palermo protocol and the EU directive. That is fully justified because we know that there is an international and national trade in human beings. It is right that we have a separate offence targeting those involved in the movement of people to be exploited, and that is what this offence achieves.

These measures are part of a wider strategy to improve the law enforcement response to modern slavery, and to increase the number of successful prosecutions. Let me highlight that there is no magic bullet by which we can transform the situation simply by amending the technical definition of the offences. The Committee heard from the Director of Public Prosecutions that the offences set out in this Bill are clear and welcome. However, the issue is often not the definition of the offence, but getting the evidence required for a conviction, which is a point that was made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Sir John Randall).

I want to touch on the Kinsella case, which the shadow Minister raised. We discussed a number of cases in Committee. It is important to put it on the record that the offenders in that case were convicted of false imprisonment, and that offence carries a maximum of a life sentence, whereas under the current law, slavery carries a maximum of only 14 years. It is completely understandable that those offenders faced the criminal charge conveying the highest possible penalty, but this Bill will ensure that slavery and trafficking offences carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and I want to see those offences used in prosecutions in the future. So the solution to obtaining more prosecutions is better work by law enforcement, better support for victims and witnesses, and clear offences with the more severe penalties set out by this Bill.

New clauses 3 and 4 and the amendments seek in different ways to widen the scope of the offences to create a new criminal offence of exploitation, which will carry a life sentence. I fully understand why right hon. and hon. Members have tabled such amendments. I share the concern to ensure that this Bill criminalises modern slavery effectively. The wider criminal law needs to tackle exploitation that should properly be criminal but might fall short of the conduct required for the serious offences in this Bill.

I know that we debated this issue at length in Committee and I continue to look seriously at where there may be any gaps in the legislation. I have been absolutely clear throughout that our approach to offences is to take seriously how they will work in practice. For example, we have taken advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions. The director gave evidence in Committee that

“We much prefer the clarity of the offences in the Bill as drafted by the Government.”––Official Report, Modern Slavery Public Bill Committee, 21 July 2014; c. 4, Q2.]

rather than the more complicated and confusing alternative presented by the pre-legislative scrutiny Committee, which included exploitation and child exploitation offences.

Introducing exploitation offences would risk causing confusion. “Exploitation” is potentially a very broad term, and there is a real risk that we would capture much wider behaviour than was ever intended in this Bill, which focuses rightly on the very serious crimes of slavery and human trafficking. The risk is that, by making the offences too broad, the public will no longer be clear on the conduct that we are targeting through very serious criminal offences that carry a life sentence as a maximum. And the effect of the Bill on law enforcement will be diluted, as the conduct we are targeting will be less clear and so will law enforcement’s focus on the victims of serious crime. It is only right and proper that, where we are dealing with less serious conduct, we prosecute those responsible using less serious offences.

A second issue raised by new clauses 3 and 4 is whether separate child offences are needed in this Bill. In some circumstances, child offences are helpful to enable a tougher sentence to be given to criminals who target and abuse children. This Bill introduces a maximum of a life sentence for the main offences in relation to slavery and human trafficking and current sentencing guidelines already highlight offences against children as an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes. There is no practical benefit in establishing a separate child-specific offence when offenders already face the maximum penalty possible—life. That is why there is no need for a separate child murder offence.

The Director of Public Prosecutions gave clear evidence to the Committee that

“If you separated out offences into adults and children, it would make it more complicated because we know from the number of cases we prosecute that defining and identifying someone’s age is often extremely difficult…There is absolutely no need for it to be separated out; that would make it more complicated and more difficult to prosecute some of these offences.”––[Official Report, Modern Slavery Public Bill Committee, 21 July 2014; c. 6, Q11.]

So I do not believe that a separate child offence would help to deliver the objectives of the House.

Amendments 135, 136, and 143 seek to remove any requirement for consent to be considered by the court when looking at clause 1. While I do not favour the wording of the amendments tabled today, which could make prosecution harder, I want to be clear that the Government are open to clarifying this aspect of the offences. We have already altered the Bill following pre-legislative scrutiny to make it clear that the court could look at all the circumstances when determining whether an offence had taken place, including any vulnerability of the victim. I am now seriously considering the issue of consent in clause 1 and whether the law could be clarified to make it clearer that consent does not preclude a determination that a child is being held in slavery or servitude or required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Turning to the trafficking offence, the pre-legislative scrutiny Committee also raised a concern that the offence in the draft Bill might not be as broad as the international definition, for example on receipt or harbouring of the victim. We responded and made it clear in the Bill that arranging or facilitating the travel of another person includes all of the ways through which human trafficking may be committed, as set out in the Palermo protocol and EU directive. So a person may arrange or facilitate travel by recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring or receiving, or transferring or exchanging control over a person—words reflecting those used in the international instruments.

In Committee, we debated whether there should be a requirement for travel in the offence. Those instruments are explicitly concerned with “human trafficking”. The evil that we are trying to tackle is trafficking, and clearly trafficking involves movement or travel of the victim.

On asset recovery, I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay) and the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr Field) for raising the important issue of asset recovery in relation to modern slavery offences. We have amended the definitions of modern slavery offences to make them lifestyle offences for the purposes of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and introduced a reparation order, but we are seeking through the Serious Crime Bill to look at a number of other measures that would tighten up asset recovery overall. I hope that my hon. Friend and the right hon. Gentleman will allow us to have that debate when the Serious Crime Bill reaches this place.

The provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act are already tougher—

Debate interrupted (Programme Order, this day).

The Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (Standing Order No. 83E), That the clause be read a Second time.

Division 68

4 November 2014

The House divided:

Ayes: 227
Noes: 288

Question accordingly negatived.

View Details

The Deputy Speaker then put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of business to be concluded at that time (Standing Order No. 83E).

New Clause 4

Offence of exploitation

‘(1) A person commits an offence if they exploit a person by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or abuse of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person.

(2) A person may be in a situation of exploitation whether or not—

(a) escape from the situation is practically possible for the person; or

(b) the person has attempted to escape from the situation.

(3) The consent or apparent consent of the person of the exploitation is irrelevant where any of the means set forth in section 9(1) has been used.’—(Diana Johnson.)

Brought up.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

Division 69

4 November 2014

The House divided:

Ayes: 225
Noes: 288

Question accordingly negatived.

View Details

New Clause 8

Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Scotland

(1) A Scottish constable or an enforcement officer may exercise the powers set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1 (“Part 2 powers”) in relation to—

(a) a United Kingdom ship in Scotland waters, foreign waters or international waters,

(b) a ship without nationality in Scotland waters or international waters,

(c) a foreign ship in Scotland waters, or

(d) a ship, registered under the law of a relevant territory, in Scotland waters.

(2) But Part 2 powers may be exercised only—

(a) for the purpose of preventing, detecting or investigating a listed offence, and

(b) in accordance with the rest of this section.

(3) The authority of the Secretary of State is required before a Scottish constable or an enforcement officer may exercise Part 2 powers in relation to a United Kingdom ship in foreign waters.

(4) Authority for the purposes of subsection (3) may be given only if the State or relevant territory in whose waters the powers would be exercised consents to the exercise of the powers.

(5) The authority of the Secretary of State is required before a Scottish constable or an enforcement officer may exercise Part 2 powers in relation to a foreign ship, or a ship registered under the law of a relevant territory, within the territorial sea adjacent to the United Kingdom.

(6) Authority for the purposes of subsection (5) may be given in relation to a foreign ship only if—

(a) the home state has requested the assistance of the United Kingdom for the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(a),

(b) the home state has authorised the United Kingdom to act for that purpose, or

(c) the Convention otherwise permits the exercise of Part 2 powers in relation to the ship.

(7) In giving authority for the purposes of subsection (5) in relation to a foreign ship the Secretary of State must give effect to any conditions or limitations that the home state imposes as part of a request or authorisation of the kind mentioned in subsection (6)(a) or (b) (if the authority is given as a result of that request or authorisation).

(8) For the purposes of subsection (2)(a), “listed offence” means an offence under—

(a) section 22 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 (traffic in prostitution etc) (asp 7);

(b) section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 (trafficking for exploitation);

(c) section 47 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour) (asp 13).—(Karen Bradley.)

This New Clause provides additional powers for law enforcement in Scotland to tackle suspected human trafficking or slavery at sea. The details of the additional powers are set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1 (inserted by amendment 129).

Brought up, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 9

Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Northern Ireland

(1) A Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer may exercise the powers set out in Part 3 of Schedule 1 (“Part 3 powers”) in relation to—

(a) a United Kingdom ship in Northern Ireland waters, foreign waters or international waters,

(b) a ship without nationality in Northern Ireland waters or international waters,

(c) a foreign ship in Northern Ireland waters, or

(d) a ship, registered under the law of a relevant territory, in Northern Ireland waters.

(2) But Part 3 powers may be exercised only—

(a) for the purpose of preventing, detecting, investigating or prosecuting a listed offence, and

(b) in accordance with the rest of this section.

(3) The authority of the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland is required before an enforcement officer may exercise any Part 3 powers.

(4) The authority of the Secretary of State is required before a Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer may exercise Part 3 powers in relation to a United Kingdom ship in foreign waters.

(5) Authority for the purposes of subsection (4) may be given only if the State or relevant territory in whose waters the powers would be exercised consents to the exercise of the powers.

(6) The authority of the Secretary of State is required before a Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer may exercise Part 3 powers in relation to a foreign ship, or a ship registered under the law of a relevant territory, within the territorial sea adjacent to the United Kingdom.

(7) Authority for the purposes of subsection (6) may be given in relation to a foreign ship only if—

(a) the home state has requested the assistance of the United Kingdom for the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(a),

(b) the home state has authorised the United Kingdom to act for that purpose, or

(c) the Convention otherwise permits the exercise of Part 3 powers in relation to the ship.

(8) In giving authority for the purposes of subsection (6) in relation to a foreign ship the Secretary of State must give effect to any conditions or limitations that the home state imposes as part of a request or authorisation of the kind mentioned in subsection (7)(a) or (b) (if the authority is given as a result of that request or authorisation).

(9) For the purposes of subsection (2)(a), “listed offence” means an offence under—

(a) section 57, 58, 58A or 59 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (trafficking for sexual exploitation);

(b) section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 (trafficking for exploitation);

(c) section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour).—(Karen Bradley.)

This New Clause provides additional powers for law enforcement in Northern Ireland to tackle suspected human trafficking or slavery at sea. The details of the additional powers are set out in Part 3 of Schedule 1 (inserted by amendment 129).

Brought up, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 10

Hot pursuit of ships in United Kingdom waters

(1) An English and Welsh constable or an enforcement officer may exercise Part 1 powers in relation to a ship in Scotland waters or in Northern Ireland waters if—

(a) the ship is pursued there,

(b) immediately before the pursuit of the ship, the ship was in relevant waters, and

(c) the condition in subsection (10) is met.

(2) Part 1 powers may be exercised under subsection (1) only—

(a) for the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(a) of section13, and

(b) (if relevant) in accordance with subsections (5) to (7) of that section.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b), “relevant waters” are—

(a) in the case of a United Kingdom ship or a ship without nationality, England and Wales waters or international waters;

(b) in the case of a foreign ship or a ship registered under the law of a relevant territory, England and Wales waters.

(4) A Scottish constable or an enforcement officer may exercise Part 2 powers in relation to a ship in England and Wales waters or in Northern Ireland waters if—

(a) the ship is pursued there,

(b) immediately before the pursuit of the ship, the ship was in relevant waters, and

(c) the condition in subsection (10) is met.

(5) Part 2 powers may be exercised under subsection (4) only—

(a) for the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(a) of section (Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Scotland), and

(b) (if relevant) in accordance with subsections (5) to (7) of that section.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (4)(b), “relevant waters” are—

(a) in the case of a United Kingdom ship or a ship without nationality, Scotland waters or international waters;

(b) in the case of a foreign ship or a ship registered under the law of a relevant territory, Scotland waters.

(7) A Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer may exercise Part 3 powers in relation to a ship in England and Wales waters or in Scotland waters if—

(a) the ship is pursued there,

(b) immediately before the pursuit of the ship, the ship was in relevant waters, and

(c) the condition in subsection (10) is met.

(8) Part 3 powers may be exercised under subsection (7) only—

(a) for the purpose mentioned in subsection (2)(a) of section (Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Northern Ireland), and

(b) (if relevant) in accordance with subsections (6) to (8) of that section.

(9) For the purposes of subsection (7)(b), “relevant waters” are—

(a) in the case of a United Kingdom ship or a ship without nationality, Northern Ireland waters or international waters;

(b) in the case of a foreign ship or a ship registered under the law of a relevant territory, Northern Ireland waters.

(10) The condition referred to in subsection (1)(c), (4)(c) and (7)(c) is that—

(a) before the pursuit of the ship, a signal is given for it to stop, and

(b) the pursuit of the ship is not interrupted.

(11) The signal referred to in subsection (10)(a) must be given in such a way as to be audible or visible from the ship.

(12) For the purposes of subsection (10)(b), pursuit is not interrupted by reason only of the fact that—

(a) the method of carrying out the pursuit, or

(b) the identity of the ship or aircraft carrying out the pursuit,

changes during the course of the pursuit.

(13) Nothing in this Part affects any right of hot pursuit that a constable or an enforcement officer may have under international law.—(Karen Bradley.)

This New Clause sets out powers of hot pursuit, where law enforcement seek to pursue a suspected vessel between waters adjacent to different jurisdictions within the UK or between UK waters and international waters.

Brought up, and added to the Bill.

Clause 13

Enforcement powers in relation to ships

Amendments made: 2, page 9, line 20, at beginning insert

“An English and Welsh constable or”.

This amendment, together with amendments 10, 14, 71, 75 76, 77, 80, 81, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 107, 108, 110, 111, 112, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 121, 122, 124, 125, 126, is consequential on amendments 23 and 24.

Amendment 3, page 9, line 20, leave out “Schedule 1” and insert

“Part 1 of Schedule1 (“Part 1 powers”)”.

This amendment, together with amendments 70, 73, 106, 109, 113, 119, 123 and 127, results from the division of Schedule 1 into 3 Parts (see amendment 129).

Amendment 4, page 9, line 22, leave out “domestic waters” and insert

“England and Wales waters, foreign waters”.

This amendment is consequential on amendments 22 and 25.

Amendment 5, page 9, line 23, leave out “domestic” and insert “England and Wales”.

This amendment, together with amendment 7, is consequential on amendment 22.

Amendment 6, page 9, leave out line 24

This amendment is consequential on amendment 26.

Amendment 7, page 9, line 25, leave out “domestic” and insert “England and Wales”.

Amendment 8, page 9, line 25, at end insert “, or

(d) a ship, registered under the law of a relevant territory, in England and Wales waters.”

Paragraph (d) inserted by this amendment adds to the categories of ships in relation to which enforcement officers can exercise enforcement powers.

Amendment 9, page 9, line 26, leave out “Schedule” and insert “Part”.

This amendment, together with amendments 11, 15 and 18, is consequential on amendment 3.

Amendment 10, page 9, line 30, after “before” insert

“an English and Welsh constable or”.

Amendment 11, page 9, line 31, leave out “Schedule” and insert “Part”.

Amendment 12, page 9, leave out lines 32 and 33 and insert “foreign waters”.

This amendment results from the new definition of “foreign waters” (see amendment 25).

Amendment 13, page 9, line 34, leave out “in question” and insert

“or relevant territory in whose waters the powers would be exercised”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 8 and ensures that the Secretary of State may only give authority under clause 13(3) in respect of a UK ship in the waters of a relevant territory where that territory consents.

Amendment 14, page 9, line 36, after “before” insert

“an English and Welsh constable or”.

Amendment 15, page 9, line 37, leave out “Schedule” and insert “Part”.

Amendment 16, page 9, line 37, leave out from “ship” to end of line 38 and insert

“, or a ship registered under the law of a relevant territory, within the territorial sea adjacent to the United Kingdom.”

This amendment requires that the authority of the Secretary of State is given before enforcement powers can be exercised in relation to a ship, registered under the law of a relevant territory, which is within the territorial sea adjacent to the United Kingdom.

Amendment 17, page 9, line 39, after “given” insert

“in relation to a foreign ship”.

This amendment ensures that the conditions on when the Secretary of State may give authority for the exercise of enforcement powers in relation to ships within the territorial sea adjacent to the United Kingdom apply only in relation to foreign ships.

Amendment 18, page 9, line 44, leave out “Schedule” and insert “Part”.

Amendment 19, page 9, line 45, leave out “foreign”.

This is a technical amendment which removes a word that becomes unnecessary in consequence of amendment 17.

Amendment 20, page 10, line 1, after “(5)” insert

“in relation to a foreign ship”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 17 and makes it clear that the requirement in clause 13(7) to give effect to any conditions or limitations imposed by a home state applies only in relation to foreign ships.

Amendment 21, page 10, line 5, leave out “section (and in Schedule 1)” and insert “Part”.

It is expected that subsections (8) and (9) of clause 13 will become a new section providing for the interpretation of a new Part expected to be formed by subsections (1) to (7) of clause 13 and New Clauses [NC8 to NC10].

Amendment 22, page 10, line 10, leave out “domestic” and insert “England and Wales”.

This amendment provides for the term “England and Wales waters” in place of “domestic waters”. This term is more appropriate in view of the new provisions providing for enforcement powers in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Amendment 23, page 10, leave out lines 13 and 14.

This amendment removes the reference to a constable from the definition of “enforcement officer” as references to a constable are now inserted in each relevant place in the provisions. The amendment also removes the reference to an immigration officer from this definition, which is considered to be unnecessary given that the definition includes designated customs officials.

Amendment 24, page 10, line 21, at end insert—

““English and Welsh constable” means only a person who is—

(a) a member of a police force in England and Wales,

(b) a member of the British Transport Police Force,

(c) a port constable, within the meaning of section 7 of the Marine Navigation Act 2013, or a person appointed to act as a constable under provision made by virtue of section 16 of the Harbours Act 1964, or

(d) a National Crime Agency officer having the powers and privileges of a constable in England and Wales under the Crime and Courts Act 2013;”.

This amendment provides for the meaning of “English and Welsh constable”.

Amendment 25, page 10, line 25, at end insert—

““foreign waters” means the sea and other waters within the seaward limits of the territorial sea adjacent to any relevant territory or State other than the United Kingdom;”.

This amendment provides for the meaning of “foreign waters” as a result of limiting the meaning of “international waters” to waters that do not form part of the territorial sea of any State or relevant territory (see amendment 26).

Amendment 26, page 10, line 29, leave out from “waters” to end of line 30 and insert “beyond the territorial sea of the United Kingdom or of any other State or relevant territory;”.

This amendment provides that “international waters” do not include any waters forming part of the territorial sea of other States or relevant territories (which are instead referred to as “foreign waters”).

Amendment 27, page 10, line 30, at end insert—

““Northern Ireland constable” means a member of the Police Service of Northern Ireland or the Police Service of Northern Ireland Reserve;

“Northern Ireland waters” means the sea and other waters within the seaward limits of the territorial sea adjacent to Northern Ireland;

“Part 1 powers” means the powers set out in Part 1 of Schedule1;

“Part 2 powers” means the powers set out in Part 2 of that Schedule;

“Part 3 powers” means the powers set out in Part 3 of that Schedule;

“relevant territory” means—

(a) the Isle of Man;

(b) any of the Channel Islands;

(c) a British overseas territory;

“Scottish constable” means only a person who is—

(a) a constable, within the meaning of section 99 of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 (asp 8), or

(b) a National Crime Agency officer having the powers and privileges of a constable in Scotland under the Crime and Courts Act 2013;

“Scotland waters” means the sea and other waters within the seaward limits of the territorial sea adjacent to Scotland;

“ship” includes every description of vessel (including a hovercraft) used in navigation;”.

This amendment sets out various new definitions used in the new Part 2A.

Amendment 28, page 10, leave out line 31.

This amendment removes the definition of a term that is no longer used.

Amendment 29, page 10, line 34, after “State” insert “or relevant territory”.

This amendment clarifies that a stateless vessel is one that is not registered in, or otherwise entitled to fly, the flag of a State or relevant territory.

Amendment 30, page 10, line 35, after “States” insert

“or relevant territories, or under the flags of a State and relevant territory,”.

This amendment clarifies that a vessel is stateless where it flies the flags of two or more States or relevant territories, or both.

Amendment 31, page 10, leave out line 37.

This amendment removes the provision that the term ‘State’ includes territories. The other amendments to clause 13 explicitly deal with the position of the relevant territories.

Amendment 32, page 10, line 41, after “State” insert “or relevant territory”.

This amendment clarifies that a United Kingdom ship includes one that is not registered in any relevant territory (or State) but is wholly owned by persons with a UK connection.

Amendment 33, page 10, line 49, at end insert—

“() an individual who is habitually resident in the United Kingdom, or”—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment adds an individual who is habitually resident in the UK to the definition of persons who have a UK connection. This provision applies for the purposes of the definition of “United Kingdom ship”.

Clause 36

The Anti-slavery Commissioner

Amendments made: 34, page 26, line 19, after “must” insert

“, after consulting the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland,”.

This amendment places a duty on the Secretary of State to consult the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland before appointing the Commissioner.

Amendment 35, page 26, line 19, after “the” insert “Independent”.

This amendment changes the name of the Commissioner from the “Anti-slavery Commissioner” to the “Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner”.

Amendment 36, page 26, line 34, at beginning insert “Independent”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 35.

Amendment 37, page 26, line 34, at end insert—

‘( ) In Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (offices disqualifying for membership: other disqualifying offices) at the appropriate place insert—

“Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner”.”

This amendment adds the Commissioner to the list of disqualifying offices under the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975.

Amendment 38, page 26, line 37, after “The” insert “Independent”—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment is consequential on amendment 35.

Clause 37

General functions of Commissioner

Amendments made: 39, page 26, line 40, leave out from “of” to end of line 41 and insert

“slavery and human trafficking offences”.

This amendment, together with amendment 40, adds relevant Scottish and Northern Irish offences to those that the Commissioner has functions in relation to.

Amendment 40, page 27, line 1, at end insert—

‘( ) For the purposes of subsection (1) a slavery and human trafficking offence is an offence under—

(a) section1,2 or4 of this Act,

(b) section 57, 58, 58A or 59 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (trafficking for sexual exploitation),

(c) section 22 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 7) (traffic in prostitution etc),

(d) section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 (trafficking for exploitation),

(e) section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 (slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour),

(f) section 47 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (asp 13) (slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour).”.

See the explanatory statement for amendment 39.

Amendment 41, page 27, line 4, leave out “to the Secretary of State”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 42.

Amendment 42, page 27, line 4, at end insert

“to the Secretary of State, the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland”.

This amendment enables the Commissioner to make reports to the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland, as well as the Secretary of State.

Amendment 43, page 27, line 6, leave out “in England and Wales”.

This amendment reflects the expansion of the Commissioner’s role across the UK and enables the Commissioner to make recommendations to any UK public authority (other than a court or tribunal) about the exercise of its functions.

Amendment 44, page 27, line 14, leave out “has authorised” and insert

“, the Scottish Ministers or the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland have asked”.

This amendment extends the definition of a ‘permitted matter’ to include a matter which the Secretary of State, Scottish Ministers or the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland have asked the Commissioner to report on.

Amendment 45, page 27, line 18, leave out from beginning to “publish” and insert

“, the Scottish Ministers or the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland wish to exercise the powers conferred by subsections (5) to (7))”.

This amendment provides that the Commissioner must not publish a report under subsection (2)(a) before establishing whether the Secretary of State, Scottish Ministers or Department of Justice in Northern Ireland wish to exercise the redaction powers conferred by subsections (5) to (7) (amendment 49 inserts subsections (6) and (7)).

Amendment 46, page 27, line 19, leave out “to the Secretary of State”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 42.

Amendment 47, page 27, line 24, after “person” insert “in England and Wales”.

This amendment limits the Secretary of State’s power to direct the Commissioner to omit from any report before publication material whose publication the Secretary of State thinks might jeopardise the safety of any person, to the safety of a person in England and Wales.

Amendment 48, page 27, line 25, at end insert

“under the law of England and Wales”.

This amendment limits the Secretary of State’s power to direct the Commissioner to omit from any report before publication material whose publication the Secretary of State thinks might prejudice the investigation or prosecution of an offence, to an offence under the law of England and Wales.

Amendment 49, page 27, line 25, at end insert—

‘(6) The Scottish Ministers may direct the Commissioner to omit from any report before publication any material whose publication the Scottish Ministers think—

(a) might jeopardise the safety of any person in Scotland, or

(b) might prejudice the investigation or prosecution of an offence under the law of Scotland.

(7) The Department of Justice in Northern Ireland may direct the Commissioner to omit from any report before publication any material whose publication the department thinks—

(a) might jeopardise the safety of any person in Northern Ireland, or

(b) might prejudice the investigation or prosecution of an offence under the law of Northern Ireland.

(9) If the Secretary of State, the Scottish Ministers or the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland lay before Parliament, the Scottish Parliament or the Northern Ireland Assembly a report made by the Commissioner under subsection (2)(a), they must lay the report as it is published by the Commissioner under subsection (4).”.—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment gives Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice power to direct the removal from reports of material they think might jeopardise the safety of any person in Scotland / Northern Ireland, or prejudice the investigation or prosecution of an offence under the law of Scotland / Northern Ireland.

Clause 38

Strategic plans and annual reports

Amendments made: 50, page 28, line 2, at end insert—

‘( ) The Secretary of State must—

(a) before approving a strategic plan, consult the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland, and

(b) after approving a strategic plan, send a copy of the plan to the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland.”.

This amendment places a duty on the Secretary of State to consult the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland before approving a strategic plan, and to send them a copy of the plan once it has been approved.

Amendment 51, page 28, line 4, after “State” insert

“the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland”.

This amendment requires the Commissioner to submit the annual report to the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland, as well as the Secretary of State.

Amendment 52, page 28, line 17, at end insert—

‘(9A) The Scottish Ministers must lay before the Scottish Parliament—

(a) any strategic plan the Secretary of State approves, and,

(b) any annual report they receive,

and must do so as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the plan or the report.

(9B) The Department of Justice in Northern Ireland must lay before the Northern Ireland Assembly—

(a) any strategic plan the Secretary of State approves, and

(b) any annual report it receives,

and must do so as soon as reasonably practicable after receiving the plan or the report.

(9C) An annual report laid under any of subsections (9) to (9B) must not contain material removed from the report under any of subsections (10) to (12).”.

This amendment requires the Scottish Ministers / Department of Justice to lay the Commissioner’s strategic plans and annual reports before the Scottish Parliament / Northern Ireland Assembly as soon as reasonably practicable. An annual report must not contain information redacted under subsections (10) to (12) (amendment 56 inserts subsections (11) and (12)).

Amendment 53, page 28, line 18, leave out from beginning to “report” in line 19 and insert

“The Secretary of State may remove from an annual”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 52.

Amendment 54, page 28, line 22, after “person” insert “in England and Wales”.

This amendment limits the Secretary of State’s power to remove from an annual report before publication material whose publication the Secretary of State thinks might jeopardise the safety of any person, to a person in England and Wales.

Amendment 55, page 28, line 23, at end insert

“under the law of England and Wales”.

This amendment limits the Secretary of State’s power to remove from an annual report before publication material whose publication the Secretary of State thinks might prejudice the investigation or prosecution of an offence, to an offence under the law of England and Wales.

Amendment 56, page 28, line 23, at end insert—

‘(11) The Scottish Ministers may remove from an annual report any material whose publication the Scottish Ministers think—

(a) might jeopardise the safety of any person in Scotland, or

(b) might prejudice the investigation or prosecution of an offence under the law of Scotland.

(12) The Department of Justice in Northern Ireland may remove from an annual report any material whose publication the department thinks—

(a) might jeopardise the safety of any person in Northern Ireland, or

(b) might prejudice the investigation or prosecution of an offence under the law of Northern Ireland.”.—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment gives Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice power to remove from annual reports material they think might jeopardise the safety of any person in Scotland/Northern Ireland, or prejudice the investigation or prosecution of an offence under the law of Scotland/Northern Ireland.

Clause 39

Duty to co-operate with Commissioner

Amendment made: 57, page 28, line 37, leave out from “made” to end of line 38 and insert

“for the purposes of this section.

‘( ) The power to make regulations under subsection (5) is exercisable—

(a) in relation to a public authority having only functions which are exercisable in or as regards Scotland, by the Scottish Ministers,

(b) in relation to a public authority having only functions which are exercisable in or as regards Northern Ireland, by the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland, and

(c) in relation to any other public authority, by the Secretary of State.”.—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment provides powers for Scottish Ministers/the Department of Justice to specify public authorities who are required to cooperate with the Commissioner. They can only specify public authorities which solely have functions in or as regards Scotland/Northern Ireland. The Secretary of State may specify any other public authority.

Clause 43

Child trafficking advocates

Amendments made: 58, page 30, line 2, leave out “may make arrangements” and insert

“must make such arrangements as the Secretary of State considers reasonable”.

This amendment places a duty on the Secretary of State to make arrangements that she considers reasonable to enable child trafficking advocates to be available for children who there is reason to believe may be victims of human trafficking. This duty is subject to the commencement procedures in amendment 69.

Amendment 59, page 30, line 20, at end insert—

‘(4A) A person exercising the functions of a child trafficking advocate in relation to a child must act in the child’s best interests.”.—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment places a duty on any person exercising the functions of a child trafficking advocate to act in the child’s best interests.

Clause 47

Interpretation

Amendment made: 60, page 32, leave out line 5.—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment extends the definition of a “public authority” to mean any public authority in the UK within the meaning of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (other than a court or tribunal).

Clause 49

Regulations

Amendments made: 61, page 32, line 18, after “regulations” insert

“made by the Secretary of State”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 57 and reflects the fact that the Bill now contains powers for the Secretary of State, Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland to make secondary legislation.

Amendment 62, page 32, line 29, at end insert—

“() regulations under section (Transparency in supply chains etc)(2);”.

This amendment specifies that regulations under subsection (2)(b) of New Clause NC11, which will specify the total turnover required for that clause to apply to a commercial organisation, will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

Amendment 63, page 32, line 31, at end insert—

‘( ) Regulations made by the Scottish Ministers under section 39 are subject to the negative procedure.

( ) The power of the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland to make regulations under section 39 is exercisable by statutory rule for the purposes of the Statutory Rules (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (S.I. 1979/1573 (N.I. 12)).

( ) Regulations made by the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland under section 39 are subject to negative resolution (within the meaning of section 41(6) of the Interpretation (Northern Ireland) Act 1954 (c. 33 (N.I.))).”.

This amendment is consequential on amendment 57 and specifies the relevant legislative procedure for secondary legislation made by the Scottish Ministers and the Department for Justice in Northern Ireland.

Amendment 64, page 32, line 32, leave out

“by the Secretary of State”—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment is consequential on amendment 57.

Clause 51

Extent

Amendments made: 65, page 33, line 4, leave out “This Act extends” and

“insert Parts 1, 2 and 4 extend”.

This amendment limits the Parts of the Bill that extend to England and Wales only to Parts 1 (offences), 2 (prevention orders) and 4 (protection of victims). This is subject to amendments generally having the same extent as the provision amended.

Amendment 66, page 33, line 4, at end insert—

‘( ) Part 2A extends as follows—

(a) section (Enforcement powers in relation to ships) extends to England and Wales only;

(b) section (Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Scotland) extends to Scotland only;

(c) section (Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Northern Ireland) extends to Northern Ireland only;

(d) sections (Hot pursuit of ships in United Kingdom waters) and (Interpretation of Part 2A), and Schedule1, extend to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

This amendment provides for the extent of the new Part 2A.

Amendment 67, page 33, line 4, at end insert—

‘( ) Parts 3, 4A and 5 extend to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, subject to subsections (2) and (3).”—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment provides that Parts 3 (Anti-slavery Commissioner), 4A (which is expected to consist of New Clause NC11) and 5 (final provisions) will extend to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (subject to amendments generally having the same extent as the provision amended).

Clause 52

Commencement

Amendments made: 68, page 33, line 23, at end insert—

‘( ) Before making regulations bringing into force any of the provisions of Part 2A, the Secretary of State must consult—

(a) the Scottish Ministers, so far as the provisions extend to Scotland;

(b) the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland, so far as the provisions extend to Northern Ireland.”

This amendment requires the Secretary of State to consult devolved administrations before commencing provisions of the new Part 2A that extend to those administrations.

Amendment 69, page 33, line 23, at end insert—

‘(3A) The Secretary of State may not make regulations under subsection (1) bringing section 43(1) to (4A) (or any part of it) into force before the end of the period of 9 months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed.

(3B) After the end of that period—

(a) if a resolution is passed by each House of Parliament that section43(1) to (4A) (or any part of it) should come into force, the Secretary of State must make regulations under subsection (1) bringing into force that section (or that part of it);

(b) the Secretary of State may not make regulations under subsection (1) bringing into force section43(1) to (4A) (or any part of it) unless required to do so by paragraph (a).

(3C) Regulations made by virtue of subsection (3B)(a) must bring into force section 43(1) to (4A) (or the part of it specified in the resolutions) before the end of the period of one month beginning with the day on which the resolutions are passed (or, if they are passed on different days, the day on which the later of them is passed).”—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment ensures that the Secretary of State must commence the duty to introduce child trafficking advocates in response to resolutions passed by both Houses of Parliament. These resolutions can only be passed after 9 months from Royal Assent, to give time for the child trafficking advocates trial to finish.

Schedule 1

Enforcement powers in relation to ships

Amendments made: 70, page 34, line 5, after “This” insert “Part of this”.

Amendment 71, page 34, line 5, after “by” insert

“English and Welsh constables and”.

Amendment 72, page 34, line 6, at end insert

“and (Hot pursuit of ships in United Kingdom waters)(1)”.

This amendment is consequential on the powers conferred under subsection (1) of New Clause [NC10].

Amendment 73, page 34, line 7, after “In” insert “this Part of”.

Amendment 74, page 34, line 11, at beginning insert “Part of this”.

Amendment 75, page 34, line 13, after “if” insert

“an English and Welsh constable or”.

Amendment 76, page 34, line 19, after “The” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 77, page 34, line 25, after “before” insert “a constable or”.

Amendment 78, page 34, line 27, leave out “England and Wales” and insert “the United Kingdom”.

This amendment reflects the fact that enforcement powers in relation to ships have been amended to have UK wide extent.

Amendment 79, page 34, line 29, after “State” insert “or relevant territory”.

This amendment ensures that the Secretary of State can only give authority for a ship to be diverted to a port within a relevant territory where that relevant territory is willing to receive the ship.

Amendment 80, page 34, line 30, after first “the” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 81, page 34, line 31, after first “the” insert “constable or enforcement”.

Amendment 82, page 34, line 32, after “home state” insert “or relevant territory”.

This amendment, together with amendments 83 and 84, is consequential on amendment 8.

Amendment 83, page 34, line 33, after “home state” insert “or relevant territory”.

Amendment 84, page 34, line 33, after “State” insert “or relevant territory”.

Amendment 85, page 34, line 34, after “The” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 86, page 35, line 1, at beginning insert “A constable or”.

Amendment 87, page 35, line 4, after “by” insert “a constable or”.

Amendment 88, page 35, line 7, after “if” insert

“an English and Welsh constable or”.

Amendment 89, page 35, line 13, after “The” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 90, page 35, line 17, after “The” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 91, page 35, line 23, after “authorise” insert “a constable or”.

Amendment 92, page 35, line 26, after “(3)” insert “a constable or”.

Amendment 93, page 35, line 30, after “the” insert “constable or enforcement”.

Amendment 94, page 35, line 34, at beginning insert “constable or enforcement”.

Amendment 95, page 35, line 42, after “if” insert

“an English and Welsh constable or”.

Amendment 96, page 36, line 1, after “The” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 97, page 36, line 2, at beginning insert “constable or”.

Amendment 98, page 36, line 3, after “The” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 99, page 36, line 4, after first “the” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 100, page 36, line 5, after “the” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 101, page 36, line 9, after “by” insert

“English and Welsh constables and”.

Amendment 102, page 36, line 14, after first “of” insert “a constable or”.

Amendment 103, page 36, line 15, after “the” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 104, page 36, line 35, after “An” insert

“English and Welsh constable or an”.

Amendment 105, page 36, line 38, after first “the” insert “constable or”.

Amendment 106, page 36, line 38, after “this” insert “Part of this”.

Amendment 107, page 36, line 39, after “accompanying” insert “a constable or”.

Amendment 108, page 36, line 40, after “the” insert “constable’s or”.

Amendment 109, page 36, line 40, after “this” insert “Part of this”.

Amendment 110, page 36, line 41, after “the” insert “constable’s or”.

Amendment 111, page 37, line 2, after “An” insert

“English and Welsh constable or an”.

Amendment 112, page 37, line 3, leave out “the officer’s”.

Amendment 113, page 37, line 3, after “this” insert “Part of this”.

Amendment 114, page 37, line 5, after “An” insert

“English and Welsh constable or an”.

Amendment 115, page 37, line 5, after “the” insert “constable’s or”.

Amendment 116, page 37, line 7, after “of” insert “constables and enforcement”.

Amendment 117, page 37, line 8, after “An” insert

“English and Welsh constable or an”.

Amendment 118, page 37, line 9, leave out “the officer’s”.

Amendment 119, page 37, line 10, after “this” insert “Part of this”.

Amendment 120, page 37, line 14, after “offence” insert

“under the law of England and Wales”.

This amendment, together with amendment 128, limits the offence in paragraph 10 of Schedule 1 to England and Wales. There are corresponding offences in relation to Scotland and Northern Ireland (see paragraphs 18 and 28 of that Schedule, as inserted by amendment 129).

Amendment 121, page 37, line 15, after “obstructs” insert “a constable or”.

Amendment 122, page 37, line 16, leave out “the officer’s”.

Amendment 123, page 37, line 16, after “this” insert “Part of this”.

Amendment 124, page 37, line 18, after “by” insert “a constable or”.

Amendment 125, page 37, line 20, at beginning insert “a constable or”.

Amendment 126, page 37, line 20, leave out “the officer’s”.

Amendment 127, page 37, line 21, after “this” insert “Part of this”.

Amendment 128, page 37, line 21, after “offence” insert

“under the law of England and Wales”.

Amendment 129, page 37, line 26, at end insert—

Part 2

Scotland

Introductory

11 (1) This Part of this Schedule sets out the powers exercisable by Scottish constables and enforcement officers under sections (Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Scotland) and (Hot pursuit of ships in United Kingdom waters)(4).

(2) In this Part of this Schedule—

“items subject to legal privilege” has the same meaning as in Chapter 3 of Part 8 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (see section 412 of that Act);

“listed offence” has the meaning given by section (Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Scotland)(8);

“the ship” means the ship in relation to which the powers set out in this Part of this Schedule are exercised.

Power to stop, board, divert and detain

12 (1) This paragraph applies if a Scottish constable or an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that—

(a) a listed offence is being, or has been, committed on the ship, or

(b) the ship is otherwise being used in connection with the commission of a listed offence.

(2) The constable or enforcement officer may—

(a) stop the ship;

(b) board the ship;

(c) require the ship to be taken to a port (in Scotland or elsewhere) and detained there.

(3) Except as provided by sub-paragraph (5), authority of the Secretary of State is required before a constable or an enforcement officer may exercise the power conferred by sub-paragraph (2)(c) to require the ship to be taken to a port outside the United Kingdom.

(4) Authority for the purposes of sub-paragraph (3) may be given only if the State or relevant territory in which the port is located is willing to receive the ship.

(5) If the constable or enforcement officer is acting under authority given for the purposes of section (Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Scotland)(5), the constable or officer may require the ship to be taken to—

(a) a port in the home state or relevant territory in question, or

(b) if the home state or relevant territory requests, any other State or relevant territory willing to receive the ship.

(6) The constable or enforcement officer may require the master of the ship, or any member of its crew, to take such action as is necessary for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2) or (5).

(7) A constable or an enforcement officer must give notice in writing to the master of any ship detained under this paragraph.

(8) The notice must state that the ship is to be detained until the notice is withdrawn by the giving of a further notice in writing signed by a constable or an enforcement officer.

Power to search and obtain information

13 (1) This paragraph applies if a Scottish constable or an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that there is evidence on the ship (other than items subject to legal privilege) relating—

(a) to a listed offence, or

(b) to an offence that is connected with a listed offence.

(2) The constable or enforcement officer may search—

(a) the ship;

(b) anyone on the ship;

(c) anything on the ship (including cargo).

(3) The constable or enforcement officer may require a person on the ship to give information about himself or herself.

(4) The power to search conferred by sub-paragraph (2)—

(a) is only a power to search to the extent that it is reasonably required for the purpose of discovering evidence of the kind mentioned in sub-paragraph (1), and

(b) in the case of a search of a person, does not authorise a constable or an enforcement officer to require the person to remove any clothing in public other than an outer coat, jacket or gloves.

(5) In exercising a power conferred by sub-paragraph (2) or (3) a constable or an enforcement officer may—

(a) open any containers;

(b) require the production of documents, books or records relating to the ship or anything on it (but not including anything the constable or officer has reasonable grounds to believe to be an item subject to legal privilege);

(c) make photographs or copies of anything the production of which the constable or officer has power to require.

(6) The power in sub-paragraph (5)(b) to require the production of documents, books or records includes, in relation to documents, books or records kept in electronic form, power to require the provision of the documents, books or records in a form in which they are legible and can be taken away.

(7) Sub-paragraph (5) is without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by sub-paragraphs (2) and (3).

Power of arrest and seizure

14 (1) This paragraph applies if a Scottish constable or an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a listed offence has been, or is being, committed on the ship.

(2) The constable or enforcement officer may arrest without warrant anyone whom the constable or officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of the offence.

(3) The constable or enforcement officer may seize and detain anything found on the ship which appears to the constable or officer to be evidence of the offence (but not including anything that the constable or officer has reasonable grounds to believe to be an item subject to legal privilege).

Assistants

15 (1) A Scottish constable or an enforcement officer may—

(a) be accompanied by other persons, and

(b) take equipment or materials,

to assist the constable or officer in the exercise of powers under this Part of this Schedule.

(2) A person accompanying a constable or an enforcement officer under sub-paragraph (1) may perform any of the constable’s or officer’s functions under this Part of this Schedule, but only under the constable’s or officer’s supervision.

Reasonable force

16 A Scottish constable or an enforcement officer may use reasonable force, if necessary, in the performance of functions under this Part of this Schedule.

Evidence of authority

17 A Scottish constable or an enforcement officer must produce evidence of the constable’s or officer’s authority if asked to do so.

Offences

18 (1) A person commits an offence under the law of Scotland if the person—

(a) intentionally obstructs a constable or an enforcement officer in the performance of functions under this Part of this Schedule, or

(b) fails without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement made by a constable or an enforcement officer in the performance of those functions.

(2) A person who provides information in response to a requirement made by a Scottish constable or an enforcement officer in the performance of functions under this Part of this Schedule commits an offence under the law of Scotland if—

(a) the information is false in a material particular, and the person either knows it is or is reckless as to whether it is, or

(b) the person intentionally fails to disclose any material particular.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

Part 3

Northern Ireland

Introductory

19 (1) This Part of this Schedule sets out the powers exercisable by Northern Ireland constables and enforcement officers under sections (Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Northern Ireland) and (Hot pursuit of ships in United Kingdom waters)(7).

(2) In this Part of this Schedule—

“items subject to legal privilege” has the same meaning as in the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (1989/1341 (N.I. 12)) (see Article 12 of that Order);

“listed offence” has the meaning given by section (Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Northern Ireland)(9);

“the ship” means the ship in relation to which the powers set out in this Part of this Schedule are exercised.

Power to stop, board, divert and detain

20 (1) This paragraph applies if a Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that—

(a) a listed offence is being, or has been, committed on the ship, or

(b) the ship is otherwise being used in connection with the commission of a listed offence.

(2) The constable or enforcement officer may—

(a) stop the ship;

(b) board the ship;

(c) require the ship to be taken to a port (in Northern Ireland or elsewhere) and detained there.

(3) Except as provided by sub-paragraph (5), authority of the Secretary of State is required before a constable or an enforcement officer may exercise the power conferred by sub-paragraph (2)(c) to require the ship to be taken to a port outside the United Kingdom.

(4) Authority for the purposes of sub-paragraph (3) may be given only if the State or relevant territory in which the port is located is willing to receive the ship.

(5) If the constable or enforcement officer is acting under authority given for the purposes of section (Enforcement powers in relation to ships: Northern Ireland)(6), the constable or officer may require the ship to be taken to—

(a) a port in the home state or relevant territory in question, or

(b) if the home state or relevant territory requests, any other State or relevant territory willing to receive the ship.

(6) The constable or enforcement officer may require the master of the ship, or any member of its crew, to take such action as is necessary for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2) or (5).

(7) A constable or an enforcement officer must give notice in writing to the master of any ship detained under this paragraph.

(8) The notice must state that the ship is to be detained until the notice is withdrawn by the giving of a further notice in writing signed by a constable or an enforcement officer.

Power to search and obtain information

21 (1) This paragraph applies if a Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that there is evidence on the ship (other than items subject to legal privilege) relating—

(a) to a listed offence, or

(b) to an offence that is connected with a listed offence.

(2) The constable or enforcement officer may search—

(a) the ship;

(b) anyone on the ship;

(c) anything on the ship (including cargo).

(3) The constable or enforcement officer may require a person on the ship to give information about himself or herself or about anything on the ship.

(4) The power to search conferred by sub-paragraph (2)—

(a) is only a power to search to the extent that it is reasonably required for the purpose of discovering evidence of the kind mentioned in sub-paragraph (1), and

(b) in the case of a search of a person, does not authorise a constable or an enforcement officer to require the person to remove any clothing in public other than an outer coat, jacket or gloves.

(5) In exercising a power conferred by sub-paragraph (2) or (3) a constable or an enforcement officer may—

(a) open any containers;

(b) require the production of documents, books or records relating to the ship or anything on it (but not including anything the constable or officer has reasonable grounds to believe to be an item subject to legal privilege);

(c) make photographs or copies of anything the production of which the constable or officer has power to require.

(6) The power in sub-paragraph (5)(b) to require the production of documents, books or records includes, in relation to documents, books or records kept in electronic form, power to require the provision of the documents, books or records in a form in which they are legible and can be taken away.

(7) Sub-paragraph (5) is without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by sub-paragraphs (2) and (3).

Power of arrest and seizure

22 (1) This paragraph applies if a Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a listed offence has been, or is being, committed on the ship.

(2) The constable or enforcement officer may arrest without warrant anyone whom the constable or officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of the offence.

(3) The constable or enforcement officer may seize and detain anything found on the ship which appears to the constable or officer to be evidence of the offence (but not including anything that the constable or officer has reasonable grounds to believe to be an item subject to legal privilege).

Code of practice

23 (1) The Department of Justice in Northern Ireland must prepare and issue a code in respect of the practice to be followed by Northern Ireland constables and enforcement officers when arresting a person under the power conferred by paragraph 22.

(2) The code must in particular provide guidance as to the information to be given to the person at the time of arrest (whether about procedural rights or other matters).

(3) A failure of a constable or an enforcement officer to comply with any provision of the code does not of itself render the constable or officer liable to any criminal or civil proceedings.

(4) The code—

(a) is admissible in evidence in criminal and civil proceedings, and

(b) may be taken into account by a court or tribunal in any case in which it appears to the court or tribunal to be relevant.

(5) The Department of Justice may at any time revise the whole or any part of the code.

(6) The code, or any revision of the code, does not come into operation until the Department of Justice—

(a) lays a draft of the code, or revised code, before the Northern Ireland Assembly, and

(b) provides by order for the code, or revised code, to come into operation.

(7) An order bringing the code into operation may contain such transitional provisions or savings as appear to the Department of Justice to be necessary or expedient.

(8) An order under this paragraph is subject to negative resolution (within the meaning of section 41(6) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 (c. 33 (N.I.))).

(9) The power of the Department of Justice to make an order under this paragraph is exercisable by statutory rule for the purposes of the Statutory Rules (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (S.I. 1979/1573 (N.I. 12)).

Assistants

24 (1) A Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer may—

(a) be accompanied by other persons, and

(b) take equipment or materials,

to assist the constable or officer in the exercise of powers under this Part of this Schedule.

(2) A person accompanying a constable or an enforcement officer under sub-paragraph (1) may perform any of the constable’s or officer’s functions under this Part of this Schedule, but only under the constable’s or officer’s supervision.

Reasonable force

25 A Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer may use reasonable force, if necessary, in the performance of functions under this Part of this Schedule.

Evidence of authority

26 A Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer must produce evidence of the constable’s or officer’s authority if asked to do so.

Protection of constables and enforcement officers

27 A Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer is not liable in any criminal or civil proceedings for anything done in the purported performance of functions under this Part of this Schedule if the court is satisfied that—

(a) the act was done in good faith, and

(b) there were reasonable grounds for doing it.

Offences

28 (1) A person commits an offence under the law of Northern Ireland if the person—

(a) intentionally obstructs a constable or an enforcement officer in the performance of functions under this Part of this Schedule, or

(b) fails without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement made by a constable or an enforcement officer in the performance of those functions.

(2) A person who provides information in response to a requirement made by a Northern Ireland constable or an enforcement officer in the performance of functions under this Part of this Schedule commits an offence under the law of Northern Ireland if—

(a) the information is false in a material particular, and the person either knows it is or is reckless as to whether it is, or

(b) the person intentionally fails to disclose any material particular.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this paragraph is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to a fine, or to both.”—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment inserts two new Parts into Schedule 1, setting out enforcement powers in relation to Scotland and Northern Ireland. These include powers to stop, board, divert and detain vessels, and powers relating to search, arrest and seizure.

Schedule 4

Minor and consequential amendments

Amendment made: 130, page 50, leave out line 10 and insert—

‘(1) The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 4(12)(d) (application of Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 to unlawful profit orders)—

(a) for the words from “133(3)(c)” to “confiscation order or” substitute “133(3)(c)(ii) to an unlawful profit order under section 4 were to”;

(b) omit the second “(or both)”.

(3) In the Schedule”.—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment is consequential on the changes to section 133(3)(c) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 made by paragraph 13 of Schedule 4.

Amendment made: 131, title, line 2 after “an” insert “Independent”.—(Karen Bradley.)

This amendment is consequential on amendment 3.

New Clause 1

Enabling provision to enable the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to tackle modern day slavery

(1) The Secretary of State may by order amend section 3 of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 to include other areas of work where the Secretary of State believes abuse and exploitation of workers or modern slavery or trafficking may be taking place.

(2) An order under subsection (1) may not be made unless a draft of the Statutory Instrument containing it has been laid before each House of Parliament and been approved by a resolution in each House.”—(Mr Hanson.)

Brought up, and read the First time.

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I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

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With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

New clause 16—Accommodation operated by gangmasters

‘(1) The Secretary of State shall within one year of this Act being passed bring forward regulations to require gangmasters providing, or soliciting a third party to provide, accommodation to a worker to—

(a) agree and keep of a copy of a tenancy agreement with the worker;

(b) provide and keep copies of receipts for any rent paid by the worker to them; and

(c) keep a rent book recording rent due and paid.

(2) In section 7 of the Gangmaster (Licensing) Act 2004 after subsection (5) insert—

“(6) It shall be a condition of holding a license under this section that the gangmaster provide on request to the Authority or a local authority the documents required under regulations made under section (Accommodation operated by Gangmasters) of the Modern Slavery Act 2014.”

(3) The Authority and police shall have the right of inspection of tenancy agreements held by letting agencies where there are reasonable grounds to suspect a number of properties are let or sub-let by the same individual to multiple workers.”

New clause 17—Gangmasters: offences, financial transactions

In the Gangmaster Licensing Act 2004 after section 13 (Offences: payments to or by gangmasters) insert—

“13A Offences: gangmasters, financial transactions

(1) This section applies to a person who is acting as a gangmaster in respect of a worker (“W”).

(2) The person commits an offence if whilst acting as set out in subsection (1) they make a payment to W that is not made either—

(a) by a cheque which under section 81A of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 is not transferable, or

(b) by an electronic transfer of funds (authorised by credit or debit card or otherwise), or

(3) The person commits an offence if—

(a) whilst making a payment to W in respect of work they do not keep a record of the payment and the hours worked for which the payment is due, or

(b) if they do not produce such a record when required to by either the Gangmasters Licensing Authority or the police.

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend subsection (2) to permit other methods of payment.

(5) In this section making a payment includes payment in kind (with goods or services).

(6) If a gangmaster pays a worker in breach of subsection (2), each of the following is guilty of an offence—

(a) the gangmaster;

(b) if the payment is made with the knowledge of the person to whom the gangmaster is supplying W, that person; and

(c) any person who makes the payment acting for the gangmaster.

(7) It is a defence for a person within subsection (4)(a) or (b) who is charged with an offence under this section to prove that the person—

(a) made arrangements to ensure that the payment was not made in breach of subsection (1), and

(b) took all reasonable steps to ensure that those arrangements were complied with.

(8) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.”

New clause 18—Provision of fixed penalty notices for gangmasters

‘(1) The Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 12 (Offences: acting as a gangmaster, being in possession of false documents etc.) after subsection (4) insert—

“(4A) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for fixed monetary penalties to be applied for an offence under this Act where—

(a) the offence is of a lower level of severity, and

(b) slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour is not a contributory factor in the offence.

(4B) Regulations made under subsection (4A) shall be made by statutory instrument and may not be made unless laid before in draft and agreed by both Houses of Parliament.””

New clause 19—Investigation of modern slavery offences by Gangmasters Licensing Authority

‘(1) In section 1 (The Gangmasters Licensing Authority) after “holding licences under this Act,” insert—

“(c) investigate offences under section 1 of the Modern Slavery Act 2014, and related offences of fraud, where those offences involve gangmasters,

(d) investigate offences under section 1 of the Modern Slavery Act 2014, and related offences of fraud, where those offences are alleged to have been committed by a person licensed under this Act, whether or not the offence was committed in their capacity as a gangmaster,”

(2) The Secretary of State may by regulations confer powers on the Gangmasters Licensing Authority in order to investigate offences under this Act.

(3) Regulations under subsection (2) shall include provision to require financial institutions to disclose details of financial holdings to the Gangmasters Licensing Authority or the police in pursuit of an investigation of an offence under this Act.

(4) Regulations under this section shall be made by statutory instrument and may not be made unless they have been laid before in draft, and approved by, both Houses of Parliament.”

New clause 2—Protection from slavery from overseas domestic workers

‘(1) All overseas and domestic workers, including those working for staff of diplomatic missions, shall be entitled to—

(a) change their employer (but not work sector) while in the United Kingdom;

(b) renew their domestic worker or diplomatic domestic worker visa for a period up to 12 months as long as they remain in employment and are able to support themselves adequately without recourse to public funds; and

(c) a three month temporary visa permitting them to live in the United Kingdom for the purposes of seeking alternative employment as an overseas domestic worker where there is evidence that the worker has been a victim of modern slavery.”

New clause 6—Procuring sex for payment

‘(1) A person commits an offence under this section if he or she procures sexual intercourse or any other sexual act, whether for himself or for another person, in return for payment.

(2) A “payment” includes—

(a) payment that is promised or is given or promised by another person; and

(b) provision of non-financial benefits, including, but not limited to, drugs or alcohol.”

New clause 7—Strategy on assistance and support for exiting prostitution

The Secretary of State shall, at least once in every year, publish a strategy to ensure that a programmes of assistance and support is made available to a person who wishes to leave prostitution.”

New clause 22—Prostitution and sexual exploitation

‘(1) The Secretary of State must undertake a review of the links between prostitution and human trafficking and sexual exploitation in England and Wales.

(2) The review under subsection (1) must consider—

(a) the extent to which the current legislation governing prostitution in England and Wales acts as an effective deterrent to demand for sexual services from exploited persons;

(b) the extent to which the current legislation governing prostitution in England and Wales enables effective enforcement action against those trafficking people for sexual exploitation; and

(c) the extent to which alternative legal frameworks for governing prostitution adopted by other countries within the European Union, including Northern Ireland, have been effective at reducing sexual exploitation and the number of people trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

(3) The review under subsection (1) must be completed and a copy must be laid before Parliament within six months of Royal Assent.”

New clause 23—Consultation on prostitution, sexual exploitation and trafficking

‘(1) The Secretary of State must initiate a statutory consultation on the introduction of legislation prohibiting the procurement of sex for payment.

(2) The consultation in subsection (1) must seek to ascertain the degree to which the prohibition of sex for payment would—

(a) reduce the number of people sexually exploited in England and Wales;

(b) reduce demand for sexual services from sexually exploited persons in England and Wales;

(c) reduce the number of people trafficked into England and Wales for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

(3) In undertaking the consultation in subsection (1) the Secretary of State must—

(a) seek the views of those who work with trafficked and exploited persons in England and Wales;

(b) seek the views of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Association of Chief Police Officers; and

(c) allow submissions from members of the public.

(4) The consultation must be completed and a summary of the results laid before Parliament within six months of the date of Royal Assent.”

Amendment 1, page 45, line 21, at end insert—

“Street Offences Act 1959

‘(10) Omit section 1”

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New clause 1 and the other amendments in this group address a wide range of issues that are linked by the terminology of exploitation but cover different aspects of concern. They include my suggestions on gangmasters; comments and suggestions on the same topic by the hon. Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay); how we deal with overseas domestic workers; and a wide ranging group of amendments on how we deal with the sensitive, difficult and challenging issue of prostitution. I will cover a number of issues, and I hope I do justice to them and set out the official Opposition’s position.

New clause 1 revisits an issue that we discussed intensely in Committee: the role of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority. We considered a number of things to do with extending the role of that authority, and in the light of those discussions the new clause simply establishes that

“The Secretary of State may by order amend section 3 of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004”

to include other areas of work should a future Secretary of State determine that exploitation, modern slavery or trafficking was taking place. It gives the Secretary of State power to do that by order, rather than having to introduce new legislation.

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Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that in Committee the Minister said that she would continue to keep the GLA’s remit under review to ensure that it met the needs of the modern slavery strategy? Does he think that was a reasonable comment to have made?

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The Minister said:

“The case has not been made for extending the GLA’s remit at this stage beyond the core areas the Act sought to address.”––[Official Report, Modern Slavery Public Bill Committee, 14 October 2014; c. 480.]

She has recently undertaken a review into gangmasters legislation, and determined that there should be no extension of its remit. I am saying—I hope the hon. Member for Redditch (Karen Lumley) will take heed of this—that new clause 1 simply gives power to the Secretary of State to extend that remit, should they seek to do so. Were I to be Minister in a few months’ time, I would want to consider extending the scope of the gangmasters legislation because widespread views from trade unions, charities and academics suggest that many people are underpaid or exploited in areas not covered by current legislation.

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As I understand it—forgive me if I have the wrong end of the stick—new clause 1 is simply to make it easier should a future Minister determine that it is necessary to widen the scope of section 3 of the 2004 Act. Will the shadow Minister give the House some indication as to what difference that would make in terms of time scale and bringing forward that legislation?

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I will address the hon. Gentleman’s points in the course of my remarks.

You will know, Madam Deputy Speaker, that my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North (Jim Sheridan) introduced legislation on gangmasters in 2004. I pay tribute to him, because that is effective legislation. It has protected workers in three key sectors—agriculture, shellfish collection and horticulture. It has done something all hon. Members should be proud of: it has driven out poor standards, protected work forces, and ensured that we do not undercut legitimate workers in those sectors.

My argument in new clause 1 is that we should give the power to the Secretary of State to extend that. Following the Government’s triennial review, they said:

“There is no change to the remit or funding of the agency”,

yet there is ample evidence that the agency should have its work extended, particularly following the Joint Committee on the Draft Modern Slavery Bill, on which a number of hon. Members present in the House served. The Committee considered a number of issues in detail, including the role of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority. In paragraph 189 of its report, the Committee states:

“There was consensus from our witnesses over the excellent reputation of the GLA…the GLA has been held in high regard as an example of good practice.”

In paragraph 190, it states:

“We heard from the Authority itself that there are limitations to what the GLA can currently do. Its Chief Executive, Paul Broadbent, told us that the GLA’s underpinning legislation was ‘good up to a point’, but did not provide for the GLA to carry out what he described as ‘hot pursuit’”.

The Committee said:

“Several witnesses made the case for widening the industrial remit of the GLA to other sectors where forced labour is prevalent”,

and that:

“The weight of evidence we received suggested that expanding the GLA’s powers and industrial remit would yield positive results.”

The Committee was comprised of Members of both Houses from all parties, but the TUC report, “Hard Work, Hidden Lives” concluded:

“The GLA needs to be extended to hospitality, construction and catering as these are usually small businesses that are open to abuse.”

Oxfam, which hon. Members will agree is a well-respected charity, has said:

“Gangmasters have diversified into sectors beyond the reach of the GLA where there is less regulation of labour standards.”

It concluded that

“the GLA’s remit must immediately be extended to the sectors of construction, hospitality, and…care”.

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When breaches by a gangmaster operating in a regulated sector such as agriculture are found by the GLA, would it be reasonable to assume that that same gangmaster operating in the hospitality sector is carrying out the same abuses, which therefore deserve to be investigated?

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The hon. Gentleman puts his finger on the point the Opposition made in Committee. Gangmasters are diversifying. They are moving into horticulture, catering and the care homes sector. I do not want to ruin his reputation, but the amendments he has tabled have the Opposition’s support, because he has indicated that measures can be taken to tighten up how we operate the current gangmaster legislation.

In his original Bill, my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North sought to protect people who are exploited, but such legislation is also about supporting legitimate businesses working in those sectors who find themselves being undercut by people who are operating sharp practices. What is good for the horticulture, agriculture or shellfish collection sectors should be good for other sectors, such as care homes and construction. New clause 1 does not specify that, but simply says that the Minister has the power to extend legislation. I hope we can give her the power and make the case, both up to the election and I hope in my case beyond it, for introducing changes to improve how the legislation operates.

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One reason why the Government have resisted such a measure is the view of the Secretary of State for Defence, who, as a Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills felt that we would be adding additional red tape. Aside from the fact that targeting criminals who abuse people is not the sort of problem on which the deregulation challenge should focus, does the right hon. Gentleman agree that going after those people is not red tape, because many of the large businesses would welcome the fact that they are not being undercut by those abusing the market?

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The hon. Gentleman sits on the Government Benches, so I am not sure it is in order for us to agree again. The British Retail Consortium supported our proposals in Committee. This is not some kind of mystical issue; this will help to protect the work force, stop undercutting and protect legitimate businesses working in specific areas. What is good for the three sectors currently covered should be good for others too.

I do not just pray in aid Oxfam, the TUC and the Joint Committee. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:

“Many have called for extending the authority…of the GLA to cover all industries where there is known risk of exploitation and forced labour associated with labour providers. The evidence from the JRF’s programme points to the same recommendation.”

In Committee, I prayed in aid Andrew Boff, who is not a member of my party but the Mayor of London’s representative and deputy. In a report on slavery in London, he recommended strongly the extension of gangmaster legislation. That is very important, because we need to send a very strong signal on exploitation.

An answer to a recent parliamentary question revealed that the number of criminal investigations under the current gangmaster legislation has dropped from a high point of 134 in 2011, to 76 in 2013 and 65 to date in 2014. This information has come to light since the Public Bill Committee last sat. The Minister said in Committee that this was a growing problem. I would welcome her view on why the number of investigations into gangmaster activity has dropped over the four-year period.

The National Crime Agency, the general secretary of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the leader of the Conservative group on the London Assembly, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the British Retail Consortium and the Ethical Trading Initiative have all said we should consider extending gangmaster legislation. New clause 1 would give the Minister the chance to do that speedily. I pressed her on this in and outside Committee. With due respect to her talent as a Minister, I do not think she has made an effective case for why we cannot extend it to the areas suggested by me and the hon. Member for North East Cambridgeshire.

I think there is a general consensus outside the House that exploitation is exploitation, be it in relation to shellfish or care work. We therefore need to look at this in an effective way. This is not, dare I say, a fly-by-night issue for the hon. Gentleman. He has pursued it over many months. His amendments do not deal directly with the matters addressed in new clause 1, but we sat on a Bill some time ago in the mists of this Parliament and he raised the same issues then. He has a real opportunity to ensure that his amendments enhance the 2004 legislation and build on the work of my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North. He has our support, and if he wants to use that on his election address in due course I am sure that will be even better for him.

New clause 2 addresses protection from slavery for overseas domestic workers. The previous Government put in place a regime for migrant domestic workers who accompanied employers to the UK. The current Government changed the regime in April 2012. Overseas domestic worker visa holders are now tied to their original employer and the visa is not renewable beyond its initial six-month duration. We have had two-and-a-half years of the new regime since April 2012, and there is real concern that it has been detrimental to domestic workers and is causing real challenges in the system that need to be considered.

That is my view—I am open and honest about it—but it is shared by the Joint Committee that scrutinised the Bill, including Members in their places today who supported recommendations on a cross-party basis. Andrew Boff, the Conservative leader of the London assembly, is of that view, too. In his report on human trafficking, he said:

“I don’t think it intends to be, but the Government is actually licensing modern-day slavery… through their changes to tie a visa to an employer.”

There is cross-party support for the Government to review the issues covered by new clause 2. In agreement are a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament, comprising and dominated by Government members, the leader of the Conservative group on the London assembly, along with many organisations interested in this topic from outside the House—notably Kalayaan, which carried out a study on the impact of the Government’s proposals.

Kalayaan has thrown up some really concerning figures. Between 6 April 2012 and 3 April 2014, 402 migrant domestic workers registered with Kalayaan. Of those, 120 were tied to their employers and 282 had entered the UK prior to April 2012. There was a real difference between the way in which these groups were treated. The Minister said in Committee that it was a “small sample”. Yes, it is, but if that sample shows that 62% of overseas domestic workers on tied visas report being paid no salary at all, and if 85% of those on tied visas are not given their own room to sleep in, with 86% saying that their passports have been taken off them by their employers, 96% not allowed to leave the house unsupervised, 74% reporting having suffered psychological abuse and 95% paid less than £100 a week, the size of the sample is not the crucial thing. Whatever the size of the sample, real and difficult challenges are evident, and they can be traced back to the change in the granting of these visas in 2012.

The Joint Committee recommended in its draft Bill that we return to the position of April 2012—prior to the changes the Government made. That proposal was put in Committee, and there was a tie with nine votes to nine votes. Members of the governing party voted with other members of the Committee; some Members did not, which was their choice; some Members supported the draft Bill’s recommendations and voted against them in Committee, which was their choice. I believe, however, that there is a real consensus on ensuring that this issue is looked at in the other place. I hope the Government will consider it further. New clause 2 provides an opportunity to do so.

Let me move on from new clauses 1 and 2 to the other contentious and wide-ranging issue suggested by this group of amendments. My hon. Friend the Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) raised this initially in Committee—the issues of how to deal with sex workers and prostitution and of how prostitution should be dealt with by society as a whole. My hon. Friend will undoubtedly speak to her new clauses. MPs do not need to look far into their inboxes to realise that a range of views are being expressed, including by the all-party group chaired by my hon. Friend the Member for Luton South (Gavin Shuker). My hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (John McDonnell) has also filtered through a range of issues for Members to consider. People have different views about how to deal with this.

Let me put it on the record from the outset, however, that all the different views focus on the fact that there are around 80,000 people, mainly women and girls, involved in prostitution today. Nobody can deny that many of these workers carry out this work voluntarily, yet a lot of them are involved in sexual slavery, having got here through different routes. They are often pimped by people they know and can be trafficked by organised gangs. They are often extremely vulnerable, having been abused in the past. About 95% of women in street prostitution have problematic drug use; over half of women involved in prostitution in the UK have been raped and/or sexually assaulted; and the vast majority of those assaults are committed by people who have purchased sex from them.

According to recent statistics, there has been a recent and rapid increase in the number of non-British women selling sex on the street in a significant number of London boroughs. There are real concerns about trafficked women being exploited in on-street as well as off-street prostitution and about the fact that this exploitation is now being controlled and organised by criminal gangs. This is a real issue that the House needs to address.

A number of solutions have been proposed. The Nordic model, which is effectively the basis of the proposals from my hon. Friend the Member for Slough, looks at how we diminish street prostitution—particularly by making it an offence for people to buy sex. One argument put forward is that street prostitution has diminished by half and that the number of brothel businesses is also diminishing, or certainly has not increased. There is evidence of the flow of human trafficking having been slowed in Sweden because of that. In Norway there is evidence that that is contributing to the reduction in demand for and volume of prostitution. But we do not have to look far into our email inboxes to know that there are very strong views from people involved in the trade that that potential model and others could lead to further violence against those who are involved in the industry and/or to driving prostitution underground.

The Opposition have tabled new clause 22, which seeks to place upon the Government a legal responsibility to undertake a review of these issues in detail. We are seeking to deal with this matter effectively. We have said that within six months of Royal Assent the Government should look at all the discussion points that are before us today. The review would investigate the extent to which current legislation governing prostitution in England and Wales acts as an effective deterrent to demand for sexual services from exploited persons. It would look at the extent to which current legislation governing prostitution in England and Wales enables effective enforcement action against trafficking people and sexual exploitation, and at the very points made by my hon. Friend the Member for Slough in her amendments today: the legal frameworks for governing prostitution adopted by other countries within the EU, including Northern Ireland. The review would look at the examples of Sweden and of Norway to help inform the debate.

All of us will have different experiences in our constituencies about the impact and challenges of this problem and I am not intending to come to conclusions today. The purpose of new clause 22, effectively, is to give a spur to a wider discussion on the topic. I hope that the Minister can look at it in that way because there are strong views on how we deal with the issue. It is important to have a proper debate.

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I just want absolute clarity. The review in new clause 22, which I support, is a review before legislation, not after, so I am somewhat confused by subsection (3).

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The review, under subsection (1), is to be completed and a copy laid before Parliament within six months of Royal Assent to this Bill.

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This Bill?

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This Bill. The purpose is to lay a legally binding commitment upon the Minister to produce a report that takes account of whatever views are expressed in the debate today, but also of the views of the all-party group of my hon. Friend the Member for Luton South, of my hon. Friend the Member for Slough and of the points raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (John McDonnell) in many emails. The real issue is how this House approaches the issue of prostitution. Now is the time for a review of the legislation.

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The right hon. Gentleman was a Minister and may well have been involved in introducing in 2009 the criminalising of the purchase of sex from someone subjected to force. Evidence suggests that that has not been particularly effective. Will the right hon. Gentleman comment on that and on whether the evidence from it takes us any further?

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As ever, having had a ministerial career in the last Government, I have form on these issues. In 2008-09, when I was the Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Slough presented proposals in Committee that were similar to those that she has presented on this occasion, and the Government did not accept them. We look and we learn, and a new issue is now evolving. I think it fair to say that there is a greater involvement of criminal gangs in trafficking people for prostitution than there has ever been before.

The purpose of our new clause is simply to make the Secretary of State legally responsible for producing a review within six months. Six months from Royal Assent will mean something between the middle and the end of next year. The evidence enabling the next incoming Government to make judgments will already have been gathered, so that they—not me, and not the present Minister—can make those judgments on the basis of a full review.

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If my right hon. Friend had had Home Office evidence that this trade was worth £130 million a year when he was a Minister at the Home Office, would that have changed his view of the proposals that were being presented?

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I do not think that we made a financial assessment of the value of the trade when I was a Minister. I know that it is being discussed currently, as part of other discussions relating to the Treasury’s contributions to Europe.

I do not want to be diverted, because we have only a short time available. I have tried to compress the material for a long series of debates into a fairly short contribution. Let me now sum up that contribution. New clause 22 concerns a review, and it commits the Government to nothing other than that review. There is a real case for extending the gangmaster legislation; new clause 1 simply gives the Secretary of State the power to do that, which I hope she will welcome.

I was pleased to hear the comments of the hon. Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay). I think it important for us to revert to the April 2012 position in regard to overseas domestic workers for a number of reasons. I also think it important to stimulate a debate on the issues of prostitution and sexual exploitation, without reaching any conclusions yet, and that has been possible today through new clause 22.

I commend all three of our new clauses to the Minister. I hope that she will be able to deliver a positive response, but—as ever, Mr Speaker, you will have expected me to say this—in the event of her not doing so, I should like at least to reflect on the possibility of testing the House’s opinion in due course.

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I want to develop the theme of how we can make prosecution and enforcement quicker and easier. I am aware that a number of Members who wanted to speak earlier have not yet been able to do so, and I shall therefore keep my remarks short.

I want to speak about new clauses 16, 17, 18 and 19. Let me begin with new clause 16. At present, it is very difficult for police in areas such as Wisbech in my constituency to identify houses in multiple occupation. The presence of 20-odd people in a two-storey house often does not meet the legal definition of an HMO. One of the ways in which we can make life easier for the local police is to give them clearer powers and rights to inspect letting agencies, and require gangmasters to keep records in the form of rent books and tenancy agreements. At present, when there is a breach of a tenancy agreement, it falls to the tenant to bring a private prosecution. How realistic is that? How realistic is it to expect someone who has been trafficked, who does not speak English and who does not understand the law to bring a private prosecution against his landlord?

We need to make it quicker, easier and therefore cheaper for the police to identify concentrations of HMOs. They need to be able to go into those houses, establish whether the law relating to, for instance, rent books is being adhered to, and take action if necessary. That will necessitate rights of access to the records of letting agents, and a requirement that the Gangmasters Licensing Authority can then use for leverage in relation to gangmasters.

New clause 17 seeks to build on the lessons this House can learn from scrap metal merchants being forbidden from taking cash payments and asks how we can create an audit trail for financial investigators in terms of the known abuse around the minimum wage legislation and the way people are being paid. At present wage slips will often simply show that someone was on for one day—it could have been seven hours, it could have been 12 hours—and when payments are made, they are made in cash. Straight away, deductions are taken for accommodation and for vehicles, so the abused worker never actually receives that money. Often they are told when they come into the country that they are not allowed a bank account. Obviously that is erroneous information, but they do not know otherwise. New clause 17 therefore addresses how we can make it easier for the police to follow the money—follow that audit trail—so that once money goes into an account, it is with the worker and it becomes harder for the rogue gangmaster to deduct it at source, which is what currently happens.

New clause 18’s provision is, I fear, almost a well-worn theme. I had a debate on it in Westminster Hall in 2012 and 2013. The measure was being blocked by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, although I was told privately that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was supporting it. The reality is that the Gangmasters Licensing Authority does not have the full range of tools available. It has draconian penalties available in terms of criminal sanctions, but they are almost never used because the standard of proof is high and the amount of time required is extensive.

To put this in context, do Members know how many inspectors the GLA currently has? It has 35 for the whole country. There is one covering the whole of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. An inspector could spend their entire time just driving around my constituency, never mind the rest of the county and the two counties combined. The LGA has 35 inspectors and a budget of £4 million. We need only think about how much a supermarket makes in a week to see how well resourced the GLA is.

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Not Tesco.

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Tesco has some serious questions to answer in terms of its supply chain and the way some of its operations have been conducted. I do not want to return to the earlier debate, but if one looks at some of the difficulties Tesco is having in terms of its profit warnings, one wonders how accurate some of its statements on its website might be, especially given its statements on other areas.

My point is we need to make it easier for the GLA, at a time when it is resource-constrained, to take enforcement action. One of those ways is to hit rogue gangmasters in the pocket, through civil fines. There is a lower evidential requirement for that and it is quicker and cheaper, and we should be facilitating that. I hope the move of the GLA from DEFRA into the Home Office gives more clout within Whitehall for this long-overdue change.

New clause 19 addresses what happens when a gangmaster is found abusing workers in one sector. The shadow Minister touched on that in his opening remarks. It is illogical that where someone is operating in one sector or industry illegally, we seem to assume that that sinner is suddenly a saint in another sector. The additional costs of the extra 1 million temporary workers currently within the unregulated sector would place a huge burden on the GLA, so I am sympathetic to the Minister in terms of the constraints on extending into the unregulated sector, but we need to make that easier. Where a gangmaster has been shown to be rogue in one sector, that is the gateway through which we can make a foray into the unregulated activity of that specific gangmaster, not of the whole unregulated industry.

This is a very good Bill that will make a huge difference in constituencies such as mine and it signals the Government’s intent in this area. When the Minister responds, I hope she will consider the operational difficulties faced by the police and the GLA in particular, and bring forward measures that make their job easier, quicker and cheaper, and therefore more likely to be achieved.

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I rise to speak to new clauses 6 and 7 and amendment 1, which have been tabled in my name. In doing so, I want to focus on an issue that is the driver of a great deal of the exploitation and human trafficking in Britain today. Before I do that, however, I want to thank the Minister for her relatively helpful letter on the issue of domestic servitude, which is one of the matters being addressed in the Bill. I drew to her attention the case of a young woman who had been forced to use employment law in order to be paid. I remain shocked that the police did not take notice of that case or prosecute her exploiter. The reality is that domestic servitude does not, on the whole, involve big organised gangs, although they are often the ones that bring the people to the UK in the first place. It is within domestic settings that people are grotesquely abused, and unless we help those victims to help themselves, as the new clause proposed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn (Mr Hanson) would do, we will continue to see an increase in that kind of trafficking.

The main reason that I am on my feet is that I have tabled two new clauses and an amendment on prostitution. The real experience of prostituted women—it is overwhelmingly women who are affected—is that they are the target of police action against prostitution. Most of them started as children, and they have often been groomed into prostitution by exploitative gangs, by pimps or by people who are trying to up the profits of their drug dealing.

The statistics are intensely disputed. Frankly, I believe that, on this issue, what people get out of their research is what they believed when they went into it. However, there are a number of facts that no one disputes. First, prostituted women are much more likely to be raped than other women. About 75% of women in street prostitution in London report having been raped. Secondly, nobody disputes the fact that prostituted women are much more likely to be murdered than other women. Some studies suggest that a prostituted woman runs a 40 times greater risk of being murdered, usually by a client, than a woman of a similar age in another profession.

Let us be clear: this is not about a choice of career. I have yet to meet the girl who wants to grow up to be a prostitute or the mother who looks forward to her daughter’s future as a prostitute. I do not believe that we should call it sex work; it is exploitation. Across the House, we should be working to reduce this form of exploitation. The national referral mechanism shows that, of all the people that it found in trafficking and modern slavery, 40% of those victims were in prostitution, as were 60% of all the women involved.

This is a serious issue and it needs to be dealt with. So how are we going to deal with it? What works? Does legalising prostitution work? Are there models that show that prostitution can be wonderfully regulated and hugely safe? People cite the decriminalised model in New Zealand, yet there are still reports of massive numbers of rapes and violence against prostituted women there. Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands and Germany, yet it is at record levels in those countries and involves grotesque exploitation. Germany has 10 times as many prostituted women as Sweden, per head of population. Clearly, that way is not working. It is striking how many countries have been convinced—as I have—that Sweden’s way is the best that has been found so far. That is what I have tried to do in my new clauses. They aim to prosecute the men who seek to purchase sex; to stop prosecuting the women who are soliciting—there are other offences on women and I hope that if these proposals get through, the other place would remove the other ways in which prostituted women are the target of policing; and to ask the Home Office to support women who want to exit prostitution.

I am involved in a charity that provides housing for formerly prostituted women who are trying to leave prostitution, and I remember a letter that we received from one of our tenants. It said, “This is the first time in my life that I have control over who comes through my front door.” Until then her life had always been run by other people; she had had to service men and had no control over her life, and that is overwhelmingly the experience of women in prostitution. I sought to change that through the change I conceded to in the Policing and Crime Act 2009, where an amendment said that women were subject to exploitation if a man sought to pay for sexual services from them and he would be committing an offence. In the first year of that being law there were 49 prosecutions—I was a bit disappointed because I did not think that was very many—with the men being found guilty in 43 cases. The following year there were 17 prosecutions, with 12 guilty verdicts, and the year after there were nine prosecutions, with six guilty verdicts. When we ask the police why that is, they say, “Oh it is really hard, because the definition of “exploitation” means it isn’t a simple offence to prosecute.” That is one reason why I tabled these provisions: we want simpler offences to prosecute, as we want to help the police to do their job.

If we take that approach, we need to talk to the Crown Prosecution Service about the advice it gives to the police on what constitutes exploitation. The CPS advice on this offence says that it is something that happens in premises: it happens in brothels. The problem is that if the police are dealing with a raid on a brothel where the exploitation that we have been talking about is going on, they want the johns to be witnesses. That is a perfectly sensible thing for the police to want to do, instead of using the strict liability offence and therefore making the men likely to be more silent.

I really believe that the Nordic model will make the difference. It has also been shown that Norway followed Sweden, Iceland followed suit and Canada has also just done so. I welcome the recent decision in Northern Ireland to introduce a similar arrangement. Other countries are following the Nordic model because it works. I am not yet convinced that we are going to pass my new clauses today. I did not push this matter to a vote in Committee, because I do not believe we should suddenly turn that small minority of men—every piece of research also says that most men do not buy sex—who think that what they are doing is perfectly legal into criminals without engaging them in knowing the changes we plan to make. I did not want to have a vote in Committee; I wanted to have a vote here.

I slightly pity the Minister, because the right hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) was supposed to be doing this and he has run away. However, she will do it better than he would, so I am kind of relieved. I invite her to welcome the proposal made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn for a review. There is the risk in any review that it will merely reflect the prejudices of the people who have gone before. However, those of us on the inquiry set up by my hon. Friend the Member for Luton South (Gavin Shuker) saw how convincing those women who had been prostituted and who were trying to leave were, how hard it is to leave, and how the way in which we currently police prostitution does not assist them. It took the deaths of five women in Ipswich to change the way the police approached this matter in that city. We should change how the police approach this matter everywhere. We should see prostitution as a problem not of badly behaved women but of men who pay to own those women’s bodies. It is vile exploitation and a form of modern slavery that we should end.

I am persuaded that more Members will support new clause 22 than supported my proposed new clauses 6 and 7. I hope to persuade the Minister to support it too. All it says is: let us find convincing evidence for what we should do. I spend a lot of time arguing with people on the media who disagree with me, who say that I have got my facts wrong and who cite conflicting research. Let us invest Government money in getting the research right and in hearing the victims of this exploitation, and then decide whether we will follow all those countries which, having done that, conclude that the Nordic model is the right one. We should stop prosecuting women and start prosecuting the men who pay for them.

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I wish to comment on new clause 2. This Bill is unique in that it is one piece of Home Office legislation that I warmly welcome. None the less, I was disappointed to find that it did not include any provisions relating to the protection of overseas domestic workers.

Since becoming an MP 11 years ago, I have had many constituency cases involving overseas domestic workers who have managed to escape an abusive or exploitative employer and who were seeking protection. Those women had been made prisoners; their passports had been stolen and they had been made to work extremely long hours for very little pay and with no time off.

In April 2012, the Government changed the rules so that domestic workers would no longer be able to change employer. Instead they have a tied visa, which links their immigration status to their employer. The evidence collected by Kalayaan indicates that the result of the new visas has been an increase in abuse and exploitation. I understand that the Minister disputes those figures, but her own proposals will not address the problem that Kalayaan raises.

Given the levels and types of abuse that are experienced by overseas domestic workers, we should view this Bill as the opportune vehicle to provide extra protection, as it goes to the very heart of protecting victims of modern slavery. There was an extremely short debate on this matter right at the end of the Committee stage. The Minister said then that reintroducing the right to change employers was not the answer to preventing abuse. It was very difficult for us to explore all the issues because we were right up against time. The Minister then showed us a new information card that will be given to overseas domestic workers, and since then she has sent me a draft revised standard template contract, for which I am very grateful. However, I am not convinced that these steps, while welcome, will be enough on their own to prevent abuse while the tied visa system is still in place. This is not a one-or-the-other issue. I accept the Minister’s argument that abuse undoubtedly also took place before the change in the visa system, but I am not convinced that merely giving people more advice will be enough. We need to tackle the tied visa system, which seems to have made the problem worse.

Some 78% of domestic workers who have arrived on a tied visa and then sought assistance from Kalayaan have reported that their passport was confiscated by their employer. What is to stop that same employer taking the information card as well? Moreover, given that many will not have access to a phone, how are they supposed to dial the numbers on the card, assuming that the card is even in a language that they can read in the first place?

In Committee, the Minister criticised the robustness of Kalayaan's figures. It should be remembered that Kalayaan is an extremely small organisation, with very limited resources.

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Let me make myself clear. I do not dispute Kalayaan’s figures. I was merely pointing out that there was evidence of abuse both before and after the tie of the visa. I therefore believe that we need to tackle the root cause of that abuse and not merely look at the tie on the visa. I do not dispute the figures that Kalayaan has put out.

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That is a helpful clarification. I agree with the Minister that we have to tackle the root cause of the abuse. I simply think that we need to do both. I am not sure that the solutions that the Minister has suggested will be enough on their own. I wonder whether I could persuade the Minister, especially as Kalayaan is such a small organisation, to consider collecting more data on overseas domestic workers. We know that abuse exists, and it would be helpful in our debates to have more accurate tracking of what happens. It may be that only the Government have the resources to fund such research.

One of the other protections that the Government introduced along with the tied visa was a provision that domestic workers had to have been with their employer for at least one year in the country from which they arrived. One of the issues here is what checks are in place to ensure that the domestic worker was not being abused in the country they came from. In the past two weeks, Human Rights Watch has produced a report on migrant domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates, and it makes for extremely grim reading. Ministers argue that the new contracts will protect against this, but, given that many domestic workers do not speak English, will they even know what they are signing?

I accept that there was abuse under the old visa system, but the new visas introduced as part of a raft of measures in an attempt to look tough on immigration do not appear to have made the situation any better. Indeed, the evidence suggests that they have made things worse because they have left abused domestic workers with no means of escape. I urge the Government to take this opportunity to improve the protection for domestic workers, and if new clause 2 is pushed to a vote, I will support it.

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rose

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Order. A significant number of colleagues still seek to contribute. There is no formal time limit—we are in a Report stage—but perhaps colleagues will have some regard to the interests of their colleagues.

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I commend new clause 22. We need the review that it proposes and a thorough investigation of the links between human trafficking, prostitution and exploitation. It seems to me that that is the only way we will change the minds of the legislators and the wider public to bring about some of the changes that my hon. Friend the Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) suggests.

Any trade that can be estimated to be worth £130 million a year should command our attention. We should look to understand it fully, with the purpose of undermining and collapsing it. That is what we are here for, and what we should do.

Finally, I want to mention Juliet, a young woman who currently resides in my constituency. She is supported by the asylum charity Restore. She fled here from Nigeria to escape slavery, brutality and a forced marriage, and she fell into the hands of traffickers and ended up working in a brothel. The Home Office, sadly, intends to deal with that by sending Juliet back to Nigeria. We need to smash the link in this trade altogether, and we have to tackle a situation that punishes the victims while the traffickers carry on their trade and the clients who make that trade viable are largely unaffected by the misery that they generate and perpetrate. New clause 22 would make a good contribution to that and help this Bill achieve some of the aims that most of us here back.

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As you know, Mr Speaker, I am standing down at the end of this Parliament, so I hope that I am allowed to say a few things.

I support the new clauses tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay). I would give a piece of advice to the talent spotters on our Front Bench. He is becoming an extremely good Member of Parliament and they should harness that by putting him into a ministerial position so that he can be useful—not, of course, to stifle that dangerous streak of independence.

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Order. I should just point out that that observation comes from the hon. Member from whose mouth came the advice that the hon. Member for Buckingham should aspire to join Her Majesty’s Opposition Whips Office, which I thought was perhaps not a great idea.

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At the time I thought that it was appropriate, Mr Speaker, but I fear that your opportunities have since vanished.

There is no fool like an old fool, and I am afraid that I felt a little like that in supporting—sincerely—the amendments tabled by the hon. Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart). I say that not because I disagree with the sentiment; we have heard so much about modern slavery and become so immersed in the issue that, as the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Steve McCabe) said, when we meet the victims, so many of whom are involved in the sex trade, there is a real feeling that the demand must somehow be curbed. However, I am not sure that this Bill is the right place to do that.

That issue seems to have stirred up a hornets’ nest and taken up valuable time on Report, and unfortunately, because of the timing—it would be wrong, of course, to complain about the selection—we have not been able to discuss everything. We are discussing something that I think is slightly out of scope. I am almost tempted to agree with the Opposition Front Benchers on that. I am not sure that we should necessarily start it at this point. It is something that I will be observing from whatever job I do after leaving this place—in the car park at Tesco or wherever. It is a very important debate about prostitution and it cannot be ignored, but there are two sides to the argument, and I know that even the hon. Members for Slough and for Hayes and Harlington (John McDonnell) take slightly different views on it. It is an important discussion that we must have.

When I have previously voted against my party, I was normally also voting against the Labour party, which was in government at the time. In other words, I was part of a tiny minority, which I think is a safe position to be in—the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington has tutored me well in how to rebel. In many respects the issue of overseas domestic workers, and therefore new clause 2, does not need to be covered in the Bill, because it is a matter of policy. Were I still in a ministerial position, I know that that is how I would explain it to colleagues, saying that this is not the time to deal with the matter. However, I have met too many victims to be able to say that it is a matter for another day. I understand why the Government brought that in, and it was a laudable reason: they thought that it would help the situation. Unfortunately, that appears not to be the case and there is a knock-on effect that is not helping those poor, innocent people from overseas.

As a result, I do not think that there will be much success. Unfortunately, the way the political debate on immigration is going at the moment—an important debate, but one in which we must be careful not to become extreme—I do not expect the Government to do a great deal about it this side of an election, if I am honest. I hear what my hon. Friend the Minister is doing, and there are some other things that can help. However, if it comes to a vote, regrettably—oh so regrettably—I shall march into the Lobby with the comrades on the other side of the House.

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I will take your advice on brevity, Mr Speaker. I rise to support my party’s new clause 1 on gangmasters.

Before I do so, I want to thank many people. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn (Mr Hanson) said, I had the privilege of introducing the private Member’s Bill that became the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004. I was greatly supported in that by a number of individuals and organisations, none more so that my own union, Unite, which was absolutely terrific in giving me the support and research that I needed to try to get the Bill through. The National Farmers Union was also extremely helpful in getting it through and in championing the ethical trading initiatives that were around at the time.

One individual who was particularly helpful during that period was the then Member for Morecambe and Lunesdale, Geraldine Smith, who was extremely supportive in helping me as regards what happened to the cockle pickers. Another individual who was greatly supportive was the then national secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, now my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Erdington (Jack Dromey), who offered his experience in trying to get the Bill through. Also very helpful and supportive were the legal gangmasters—the guys who operated on a legal basis—because they had operated in a legal field while the other people were undermining them by trying to get labour at cheap prices.

Some organisations, I have to say, were dragged to the negotiations by their fingernails—namely, the major retailers, who really did not want to get involved in this and wanted to exploit the farmers who were engaged in the industry. The farmers were getting a very bad deal from the major retailers, so we made sure that the retailers played ball.

To correct a fact about the gangmasters legislation, the myth is that it was drawn up in response to the tragedy of the Morecambe bay cockle pickers, but in fact it was introduced before that unfortunate incident because Unite had already experienced the inequities that were happening in the construction industry, the care industry, and so on. That is why the Bill was launched some months before the dreadful situation surrounding the Chinese cockle pickers.

Nevertheless, what happened to the cockle pickers was the catalyst in getting support for the Bill. Just imagine, if you will, that you are on a cold, sandy beach surrounded by water that is coming to drown you, you cannot speak English, and there is no one there to take any responsibility for you. All that was left for these people was to use their mobile phones to phone home to China to tell their relatives that they were in the process of dying. The gangmasters who took them on did nothing to help them. That is why the gangmasters Bill was a good and effective piece of legislation, and even now, as we speak, it has the potential to be even better and more effective.

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Everything that my hon. Friend said about the struggle that he had to convince a number of organisations at the time is true. Does he know that on 21 August the Ethical Trading Initiative and the British Retail Consortium wrote to the Prime Minister in support of proposed amendments to the Bill, and, as part of that submission, called for the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to be strengthened and extended to cover hospitality, construction, and many other industries? My hon. Friend has converted a lot of people by showing that his legislation made a difference to people involved with gangmasters.

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There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the legislation must be extended.

We introduced the gangmasters legislation under a Labour Government, and I have to say that it was extremely difficult to try to convince Ministers that it was the right way to go. We decided to go with it as it stood in terms of the shellfish and agriculture industries, arguing that it should subsequently be extended to other sectors, and the Government said that we could extend it if it worked. In my view, it did work, and we set up the Gangmasters Licensing Authority. Prior to that, the gangmasters never paid any tax or national insurance, and neither did the exploited workers. The GLA cleaned its face: it got people to pay income tax and the workers to pay national insurance. In effect, it was a self-funding process. If that rationale were extended to take in construction and the service and hospitality sectors, I think the GLA would be a more effective organisation. The Modern Slavery Bill could have sought to prevent exploitation of forced labour by expanding the remit of the GLA.

Constituents complain about migrant workers moving into their towns, cities and communities and taking their jobs. Immigration was a big issue in the past and it is an even bigger issue now in terms of the exploitation of migrant workers. That is what causes the tensions in this country’s towns and cities. The GLA would make sure that people coming in to work in the fields or in construction were legitimate, trained workers with the necessary skills. More importantly, it would make sure that they paid their tax and received the benefits that flow from that.

The only proactive labour inspectorate that aims to identify and prevent exploitation and trafficking for the purposes of modern slavery is the Independent Labour Organisation, which supports the approach I have outlined. Unfortunately, since 2010 the resources and remit of the GLA have all been reduced, but there is support for Labour’s proposal in new clause 1 for the GLA to cover other areas of work.

At around the same time as the death of the cockle pickers in Morecambe bay, agriculture workers were particularly at risk; indeed, they were exploited. We took many early morning trips with the inspectorate to see for ourselves where those people were living and the kinds of conditions they were working in, some of which were absolutely atrocious.

There are further ways in which the Bill could be improved. I think that relocating the GLA to the Home Office has impacted on its primary function. In my opinion, it should be reinstated as a non-departmental public body under the Department for Work and Pensions. The GLA should have the role of enforcing payment of outstanding wages owed to exploited workers through repayment orders. Migrant workers in the UK should be protected by employment law, regardless of their immigration status.

There is no doubt whatsoever that if Members were to visit construction sites these days, they would see that some of the workers cannot even speak English or understand the health and safety regulations posted at the sites. They are, therefore, a danger not only to themselves, but to others. Construction sites are extremely dangerous places to work and, unfortunately, some unscrupulous employers are happy to exploit workers by paying them low wages, and without assessing the skills they may or may not have. Friction is caused in our communities when indigenous people see migrant workers being exploited by gangmasters and big corporate organisations making lots of money at their expense.

I have no doubt whatsoever not only that our proposal to extend the GLA’s remit to other sectors of employment is long overdue, but that it will eventually pay for itself and, therefore, not be a burden on the Government. I ask colleagues to forget the red tape challenge and to consider people’s lives.

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I will speak very briefly, but I want to commend the Government and my hon. Friend the Minister for bringing in this important Bill.

I vividly remember, more than two years ago, that some of the members of the Southampton Stop the Traffik group came to my constituency surgery to explain in detail some of the problems associated with people trafficking and modern-day slavery in the city and the wider area. When I mentioned those problems to other constituents, they found it shocking and could not believe that it was happening in somewhere such as Romsey. One key problem we face in tackling the scourge of slavery is that in many cases it is out of sight, and therefore very much out of mind.

I have absolutely no intention of being partisan on this issue. As a member of the Public Bill Committee, what came across very clearly to me was the massive consensus for having something on the statute book. It has taken a long time to get to this point—I know that previous Governments wanted to act—and there is a sense of pride that the current Government have brought forward legislation.

It is absolutely imperative to have a law that is practical and pragmatic, that will work and be enforceable, and that does not prescribe too tightly the roles of local authorities and of the anti-slavery commissioner in tackling the problem. We need such flexibility, because you can bet your bottom dollar that those involved in this illegal trade will also be flexible in seeking to find ways around new legislation. I therefore want the role of the anti-slavery commissioner to be able to adapt as time goes on, much as the role of police and crime commissioners is evolving in our counties. As their role evolves, so the anti-slavery commissioner’s role should be truly inventive and of critical importance. The Government are absolutely right to institute that role, but it must be given sufficient flexibility to allow it to develop over time.

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We are really short of time in this debate, so I apologise for taking more, Madam Deputy Speaker. If there are any talent spotters on the Government Front Bench, I think the right hon. Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Sir John Randall) has an excellent role in the other place.

I chair the Public and Commercial Services Union parliamentary group—we are writing to the Gangmasters Licensing Authority about the new clauses in this group—but let me say that we have now gone beyond the stage at which we can continue to will the objectives without willing the means. Adequate staff and resources are needed to ensure that the GLA is effective.

To turn briefly to the new clauses and the amendment tabled in relation to prostitution, I apologise to all Members of the House for inundating them with briefings over the past 48 hours. I am very sorry, but this debate came up in a hurry, and it was important to give people the chance to express their views. I have always respected my hon. Friend the Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart), who is very well intentioned. I support new clause 7 because developing a strategy is critical, and amendment 1, which is the decriminalisation amendment, but I am fundamentally opposed to new clause 6, because it is worrying, counter-productive and dangerous. New clause 22 would give us the opportunity and enough time to undertake a proper review.

I know that sex work is abhorrent for some Members. I must say that in the years since I convened some of the first meetings of the Ipswich Safety First campaign in this House, after five women were killed there, I have met a number of men and women who were not coerced into sex work and do not want their livelihoods to be curtailed by the proposed criminalisation of their clients. It is true that I have met many others who entered prostitution to overcome economic disadvantage—they suffered in poverty to enable them to pay the rent and put food on the table for their children—but that has been made worse by welfare benefit cuts, escalating housing costs and energy bills. The answer is not to criminalise any of their activities, but to tackle the underlying cause by not cutting welfare benefits and ensuring people have an affordable roof over their heads and giving them access to decent, paid employment.

The whole issue has focused on the idea that by stopping the supply of clients, prostitution will somehow disappear, as will all the exploitation, trafficking and violent abuse. The Swedish model has been suggested as an example, but there was absolutely overwhelming opposition to it in the briefings that I have circulated. Those briefings have come from charities such as Scot-Pep—the Scottish Prostitutes Education Project—which is funded by the state; the Royal College of Nursing, the nurses themselves; and the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, which is another Government-funded organisation to get women and others off the game, that nevertheless says that the Swedish model would be counter-productive.

The Home Office has commissioned academic research, and I have circulated a letter from 30 academics from universities around the country that basically says that the proposed legislation is dangerous. We must listen to sex workers: the English Collective of Prostitutes, the Sex Worker Open University, the Harlots collective, the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe—flamboyant names, but they represent sex workers, and all are opposed to the criminalisation of clients.

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Could my hon. Friend quote some sources from Sweden? I understand that in Sweden they do not take that view.

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I will come straight to that point, but let me go through the other organisations we have listened to: lawyers, human rights bodies such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and UN Aid, and even the women’s institute down in Hampshire—I warn hon. Members never to cross the women’s institute anywhere—as well as members of the Ipswich Safety First coalition who dealt with the deaths those years ago.

What is the consensus? It is that there is no evidence that criminalising clients as in the Swedish legislation reduces the number of either clients or sex workers. I could quote at length—time we have not got—from the Swedish Government’s report that demonstrates that there is no correlation between the legislation they introduced and a reduction in numbers of clients or sex workers.

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My hon. Friend said that the Swedish Government have no evidence for that, which is true, but they did have evidence that the number of men who pay for sex in Sweden has gone down significantly.

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That was one survey where men who were asked, “Do you pay for sex, because you could be prosecuted for it?” naturally said no. The evidence has been challenged. The other part of the consensus concerns the argument that other Governments are now acting and following the Swedish model, but South Africa has rejected it, and Scotland rejected it because measures on kerb crawling were introduced. In France, the Senate has rejected that model on the basis that sex workers will be put at risk. There are even threats of legal action in Canada on the issue of the safety and security of sex workers.

The other consensus that has come from these organisations is that not only do such measures not work, they actually cause harm. We know that because we undertook research through the Home Office in 2005-06. What did it say? Sex workers themselves were saying, “It means that we never have time to check out the clients in advance. We are rushed and pushed to the margins of society as a result, which does us harm.”

There are alternatives. I do not recognise the view on the implementation of decriminalisation in New Zealand mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Slough, because all the research says that it is working. Who says that we should look at decriminalisation? It is the World Health Organisation, UN Women and UNAIDS. I circulated a letter from Nigel Richardson, who is not just a lawyer who represents sex workers but also acts as a judge. He says that we can tackle abuse and sexual exploitation with existing laws.

I appeal to the House not to rush to legislate on such a contested issue where there is such conflicting research, evidence and views. New clause 22 would provide a way through as it would enable us to undertake the necessary research, consult, bring forward proposals, and legislate if necessary. I want to include in that consultation the New Zealand model and full decriminalisation. I am not in favour of legalisation; I am in favour of full decriminalisation. On that basis we should listen to those with experience. I convened some meetings with the Safety First coalition to brief Members on what it had done. It invested money in the individuals—£7,000 a prostitute—and it got people out of prostitution by investing money, not by decriminalising them.

Rev. Andrew Dotchin was a founder member of the Safety First coalition. He states:

“I strongly oppose clauses on prostitution in the Modern Slavery Bill, which would make the purchase of sex illegal. Criminalising clients does not stop prostitution, nor does it stop the criminalisation of women. It drives prostitution further underground, making it more dangerous and stigmatising for women.”

I fully support his views.

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If I had longer I would list a huge number of women’s organisations, campaign groups and those dealing with the issue that the Bill is supposed to be addressing—human trafficking—that support dealing with demand for prostitution, as that is also a way of dealing with demand for modern sla