Govt concedes need for slavery law

By politics.co.uk staff

The government has accepted a new law is required against slavery in the UK.

An expected vote this afternoon on an amendment to the coroners and justice bill would have made servitude and forced labour an offence in the UK for the first time.

Instead the government agreed before the vote to introduce a revised offence in the bill next week.

The move follows a tough campaign by Liberty and Anti-Slavery International, together with assistance from Baroness Young of Hornsey.

“There is understandable public scepticism about politics these days, but this victory shows the potential for protecting the most vulnerable in our society when politicians on all sides come together,” said Isabella Sankey, policy director of Liberty.

Baroness Young added: “Like many others I was shocked to learn that forced labour had never been properly criminalised in this country. All sides of the House have now recognised the important, urgent need for this offence.”

Various unions and legal experts also supported the campaign.