On 30 July, the Home Office announced plans to launch an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The review is being led by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Frank Field), my right hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mrs Miller) and the right hon. Baroness Butler-Sloss.
The introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the first legislation of its kind in the world, has helped to transform the UK’s response to modern slavery. More victims are being identified and supported; more offenders are being prosecuted; and thousands of companies have published statements setting out the steps they have taken to tackle modern slavery in their supply chains. The UK is determined to lead global efforts to tackle this barbaric crime and as the methods used by criminals to exploit vulnerable people evolve, and our understanding of this crime evolves, it is important to consider our legislative approach.
The aim of the review is to understand and report on how the 2015 Act is operating in practice, how effective it is, and whether the legal framework for tackling modern slavery is fit for purpose now and in the future. In doing so, the review will need to take into account any significant economic, social and technological changes since the 2015 Act was passed.
The following provisions of the Act will be considered in the review:
section 3 on the meaning of exploitation
sections 8 to 10 on reparation orders
sections 40 to 44 on the independent anti-slavery commissioner
section 45 on the statutory defence
section 48 on independent child trafficking advocates
section 54 on transparency in supply chains
The review will gather evidence and seek views from relevant stakeholders across a range of sectors and interest groups. The findings and recommendations of the review will represent the views of the reviewers, who will be supported by a secretariat seconded from the Home Office.
The review will aim to report to the Home Secretary before the end of March 2019. Following approval, the Home Secretary will lay the report in Parliament.
A copy of the review’s terms of reference will be placed in the Library of the House and is available on www.gov.uk.