45 days. That’s all the care and support that rescued victims of modern day slavery are entitled to receive under English law. Once that period has passed, people who have lived through unimaginable trauma can find themselves on their own, with no guarantee of protection or a roof over their heads.
Last year in the UK, 3,805 people were identified as victims of trafficking – an increase of 17% last year.
It’s a problem that urgently needs tackling, and organisations like the Co-op are stepping up to provide support to survivors of modern day slavery, and to ensure that trafficked labour has no place in their supply chains.
But we also need a change in the law, to guarantee victims in England the same protections they currently enjoy in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Parliament is currently debating a new law (The Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill) which would increase the support and care available to victims of modern day slavery from 45 days to 12 months.
The Bill is being championed by the Co-op and by our team of Labour & Co-operative peers, as well as peers from all parties.
Labour & Co-operative Peer and Opposition Spokesperson Lord Kennedy of Southwark arguing for the law change
Only public pressure can ensure the government allows this important change in the law to go ahead.