Skip to main content

Modern Slavery

Volume 592: debated on Monday 9 February 2015

This Government are determined to stamp out the abhorrent crime of modern slavery. Research carried out by the Home Office estimates that in 2013, the number of potential victims in the UK was between 10,000 and 13,000. This was included in the Government’s modern slavery strategy published in November, which sets out the wide range of actions being taken across Government to tackle modern slavery.

Will my hon. Friend join me in congratulating the West Midlands police on Operation Sentinel, which is leading a campaign this month to train 1,100 front-line officers to identify victims of modern slavery, safeguard them and raise public awareness of the signs of slavery and the need for people to report any suspicions they may have?

I absolutely will join my hon. Friend in congratulating the West Midlands police. It is exactly this type of initiative that will raise awareness and help us to tackle this dreadful crime. It is only by identifying the victims, and by people knowing how to identify the victims, that we will find them and give them the support they need.

Is the Minister at all concerned at the failure to ensure that the monitoring of private fostering arrangements for children from abroad actually takes place, which means that we could be missing completely a potential level of modern slavery?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comments, but through the work in the Modern Slavery Bill and through the strategy, we are absolutely determined that we will find all victims of slavery; and for children we are trialling child trafficking advocates so that we can ensure that children get exactly the support they need to give them the best opportunity in life.