Bishop of London asks Government about support for victims of modern slavery

london170119bOn 7th October 2019 the Bishop of London, Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, asked a question she had tabled to Government on modern slavery.

The Lord Bishop of London: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to facilitate the enactment of the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill within the next 12 months.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) (Con): My Lords, the Government have given serious consideration to the issues raised in the Bill from the noble Lord, Lord McColl, and to how to ensure that victims have the support they need to begin rebuilding their lives. However, the Government do not believe victims should be given an automatic grant of leave. Consideration of whether an individual is a victim of modern slavery and any decisions regarding their immigration status are, and must remain, separate.

The Lord Bishop of London: I thank the Minister for her reply. Churches across the UK are providing some exceptional support to victims of modern-day slavery, such as Tamar at All Souls Church here in Westminster. On a recent visit to Tamar I was struck by how essential it was that victims were provided with assistance, healthcare, housing and mental health support. Can the Minister comment on what progress is being made to cost and evaluate provision so that victims can not only receive adequate care but recover in the best way possible?

Baroness Williams of Trafford: I pay tribute to the ministry the right reverend Prelate describes, because I know that both the Church and the voluntary sector do a fantastic job in this area. Children can receive support through the independent child trafficking guardians that have now been rolled out in a third of local authorities in England and Wales—they are very welcome—and follow-on support, through the victim care contract, that victims can expect to receive after the trauma of their experience.


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