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House of Commons Hansard
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Written Statements
05 September 2018
Volume 646

Written Statements

Wednesday 5 September 2018

Home Department

Modern Slavery Act 2015: Independent Review

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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.

[HCWS935]

Prevent Duty Toolkit

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The aim of the Prevent duty, commenced as part of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015, is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people being drawn into terrorism or supporting terrorism.

The statutory guidance which accompanied the Prevent duty was the starting point for the implementation of Prevent across sectors and places a duty on specified authorities to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. A range of sector-specific advice to supplement the statutory guidance and further support duty implementation across sectors has since been issued.

The Prevent duty has made a significant positive impact in preventing people being drawn into terrorism. To further support the local government sector, the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism has worked across government and with local partners to publish practical advice in the form of a toolkit. The toolkit supplements information provided in statutory guidance to ensure local authorities are effectively supported in implementing the Prevent duty. This toolkit does not replace the statutory guidance.

The publication of the Prevent toolkit is based on three years of productive engagement with the local government sector since the introduction of the duty, and illustrates examples of good practice to promote continuous improvement. It will support the practical delivery of Prevent by local authorities by providing information, implementation guidance, a self-assessment framework and case study examples to support local authorities and their partners in delivering the Prevent duty locally.

The toolkit has been published today and I will place a copy of it in the Library of the House. It has also been made available on Gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-toolkit-for-local-authorities-and-partner-agencies

[HCWS934]

Housing, Communities and Local Government

Rough Sleeping

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I am today announcing a provisional allocation of the further funding for the rough sleeping initiative that I outlined in the recently published rough sleeping strategy.

I have already allocated a targeted £30 million rough sleeping initiative fund for 2018-19 to support those sleeping rough and those at risk in 83 local authorities with the highest need. Today’s announcement of provisional further funding for next year supports the good work that local authorities are already doing with the funding for this year.

Over the last few months our team of expert practitioners have worked closely with local authorities and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to identify service gaps and create tailored packages to tackle rough sleeping in their area this year. Together they have co-produced bespoke plans to tackle rough sleeping based on local government and third sector knowledge of what works. The new rough sleeping initiative team will work closely with local areas to implement the plans and to monitor their progress.

These provisional allocations represent another significant step in our plans to reduce and end rough sleeping following on from the publication of our rough sleeping strategy last month.

A full list of the individual amounts provisionally allocated to the 83 local authorities and the GLA has been published on gov.uk. Alongside the £34 million provisionally allocated today, the Government have set aside a further £11 million for spending on additional areas and projects to those currently supported by the rough sleeping initiative and will announce further details in due course.

This package will achieve substantial results in these areas of high need. It will also build upon the work we have already undertaken in order to meet our manifesto commitment. This work includes piloting the internationally proven Housing First approach in three areas of England, allocating over £1.2 billion in order to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, including more up-front funding so local authorities can proactively tackle homelessness pressures in their areas, and also the recent changes made under the Homelessness Reduction Act which mean that more people will get the help they need and at an earlier stage.

[HCWS936]