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Human Trafficking Offences: Forced Labour

Volume 600: debated on Thursday 15 October 2015

9. What steps the Crown Prosecution Service is taking to increase the number of successful prosecutions for human trafficking offences involving forced labour. (901585)

In advance of the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 the CPS delivered joint training with the police and issued guidance to strengthen prosecutions. In forced labour cases the CPS also encourages prosecution for other offences such as trafficking for forced labour, money laundering, benefit and mortgage fraud, tax evasion and Gangmasters (Licensing) Act offences.

Given the sheer number of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria, taking action against human traffickers is of the utmost importance in protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable people. What steps is my hon. and learned Friend taking to improve the confiscation of the proceeds of exploiting migrant workers into modern-day slavery?

I know that my hon. Friend has a long-standing interest in this issue. The Crown Prosecution Service is helping to improve the situation by building capacity and capability in other countries, because this is an international problem. This is being done by better linking the work of the regional asset recovery teams with that of the human trafficking investigators, so that financial investigation can become sharper and more efficient.

13. My hon. and learned Friend has outlined what is being done on an international basis. Will he go further and confirm that the Immigration Bill, which had its Second Reading this week, will help to tackle this disgraceful problem at a domestic level? (901589)

The Minister for Immigration and I have the duty of taking that Bill through its stages in this House, and I can assure my hon. Friend that its provisions will dovetail well to improve the range of tools that the authorities have to protect victims of trafficking and prosecute perpetrators.