“a policy that does not go beyond deterrence is not sufficient”
On November 25th 2021 the House of Lords debated a motion from Baroness Hoey, “That this House takes note of the number of migrants arriving in the United Kingdom illegally by boat“.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: My Lords, I too am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, for securing this debate, especially at this time. I was helped this morning by the “Thought for the Day” from my colleague, the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Leeds, in which he said that this is a time to dig deeper into our emotions and face the grief we feel at the loss of humanity. It is that sense of grief, our common commitment to the preservation and dignity of life, as well as to a passion for justice for those suffering the ills and evils of the world, which unites us. The noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, demonstrated that.
Our shared grief is the proof we do not really need of the humanity and vulnerability that unites us. These common concerns, which underpin both our aim to stop migrants making dangerous journeys and our grief today, are the same concerns and moral instincts that require us to sit back and face the reality that a policy that does not go beyond deterrence is not sufficient.
On 28th July the Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol, received written answers to three questions on overseas domestic workers, and seasonal workers (both areas vulnerable to modern slavery and human trafficking).
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: HL6880 To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they intend to publish further details about any changes to the routes of entry to the UK for overseas domestic workers.
Baroness Williams of Trafford: Our broad approach for January 2021 will be to maintain the existing provisions for overseas domestic workers, expanding this route to include EU citizens.
On 28th May 2020 the Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, received written answers to three questions asked on modern day slavery:
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: HL4177 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what long-term support services they plan to provide to survivors of trafficking to protect them from being re-trafficked and to ensure that they are supported when the COVID-19 lockdown ends.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: HL4178 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the level of subsistence support given to victims of modern slavery during the COVID-19 pandemic is sufficient to meet essential needs.
On 16th January 2020 Baroness Doocey asked Her Majesty’s Government “what is the Home Office’s policy on the processing of an asylum claim when an applicant says they have been the victim of child trafficking?” The Bishop of Worcester, Rt Revd John Inge, asked a follow-up question:
On 28th October 2019 Lord Bethell repeated a Government Statement about the tragic deaths of 39 migrants in Essex. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:
Lord Bishop of Durham: While I understand that the Minister does not wish to speculate, it is possible that there are people already in this country who may have been illegally trafficked here and will know the identity of those people when it emerges. In order to fully understand the depths of the depravity that leads to this kind of evil, will consideration be given to offering immunity to those who are here illegally at present who can offer good, solid evidence that will help us to understand and bring people to justice? Will immunity be considered for those who are already here, perhaps illegally?
Lord Bethell (Con): The Secretary of State has spoken in another place of her determination to track down the perpetrators of this crime. When asked a similar question, she communicated her determination to use whatever routes or opportunities she had, including the kind described, in order to achieve that objective.
On 2nd November 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question about the impact of changes to NHS charging on refused asylum seekers, trafficking victims, the homeless and those with mental health problems:
On the 8th September 2017 the House of Lords debated the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill [HL], a private member’s bill from Lord McColl. The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke in support of the Bill:
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I too thank the noble Lord, Lord McColl, for his persistence and inspiration in keeping this on the agenda and bringing this Bill before us today.
I declare a number of interests. I was on the Select Committee that helped to craft the legislation, which was a good foundation—but all the evidence shows, and some of us realised this at the time, that it needs to be developed with further investment, as we learned from victims and the adjustments of the police and other statutory authorities. I declare an interest, too, as chairman of the advisory panel of the Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner, to whom the noble Lord, Lord McColl, referred and who is doing some amazing work, helping us to see where the foundations can be strengthened and developed. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby supports Bill to help victims of modern slavery”
On 11th July 2017 in response to a Government statement on the G20 in Hamburg, the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell asked a question about the Government’s approach to human trafficking, highlighting church initiatives.
Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords I thank the noble Baroness for the Statement and the Government’s continued commitment to tackling modern-day slavery. I am particularly grateful for the commitment to cultivate a radically new global and co-ordinated approach to this problem, which traps 46 million people in conditions that deprive them of their God-given dignity. Can the Minister give an assurance that they will put the victim at the centre of this new global approach and that it will enlist the support and help of the Churches’ global networks, which are already beginning to mobilise through the Santa Martha group and the Clewer initiative to condemn this abomination, which Pope Francis has rightly called a crime against humanity?
On 19th January 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions in the House of Commons from MPs on Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism and lead theft. The transcript is below: