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Prosecuting Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Global Co-operation

Volume 635: debated on Thursday 8 February 2018

6. What steps the CPS is taking to strengthen global co-operation in prosecuting human trafficking and modern slavery. (903855)

Later this month, the Crown Prosecution Service will host an international summit for senior prosecutors from 21 countries around the world. It is an ambitious summit that aims to identify better ways to support victims and witnesses and to establish a strong, active international network to tackle more actively the crime of modern slavery.

Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that modern slavery and human trafficking are international problems that require the collaboration of the Crown Prosecution Service and similar judicial systems from many countries to address them?

I do agree and it is important that we work with partners around the world. The CPS has 30 prosecutors located in other countries and, of course, we agreed last year at the United Nations to double our spend overseas in combating modern slavery.

Will the Attorney General welcome the work of the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and support the Home Office in dealing with this issue in particular? Will he help to look at identifying the eight or so countries we are dealing with and give support from his office?

Yes, I do welcome that work. The right hon. Gentleman is right that there is a huge amount we can do in this institution to back up the fight against modern slavery and, of course, to focus on where the majority of those who are trafficked tend to come from. Of course, as he will recognise, it is not just those eight countries. Those who were identified as victims of modern slavery arriving in this country last year came from some 108 different countries, but he is right that there are particular countries to focus on.

At the UN General Assembly last year, the UK Government agreed that we would spend £150 million overseas to combat modern slavery. As my hon. Friend will recognise, that is in addition to the substantial sums already committed in our domestic budgets to deal with the problem.

Royal Assent

I have to notify the House, in accordance with the Royal Assent Act 1967, that the Queen has signified her Royal Assent to the following Acts:

Telecommunications Infrastructure (Relief from Non-Domestic Rates) Act 2018

Armed Forces (Flexible Working) Act 2018.