Hope for Justice’s evidence used in UK Parliamentary debate

Hope for Justice’s evidence was used during a Parliamentary debate over the length of recovery period victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are given.

Holly Lynch, Labour’s shadow minister for crime reduction and courts, called for an amendment to the Nationality and Borders Bill, to increase the recovery period from 30 days to 45 days in line with statutory guidance. Hope for Justice is calling for changes to the bill.

The Halifax MP labelled Clause 49 of the bill “a disappointing backward step away from the appropriate period necessary to break the bonds of slavery”.

She used our evidence in the Public Bill Committee meeting to support her amendment: “In its written evidence to the Committee, Hope for Justice highlights that the explanatory report on the European Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings clearly states that the purpose of the recovery and reflection period is to allow victims to recover and escape the influence of traffickers. A reduction of this period therefore represents a step backwards in our ability to offer effective protection to victims of trafficking.”

However, speaking for the Government, Conservative MP Craig Whittaker said: “Basically, there is no need to amend clause 49 to provide a 45-day recovery period as that is already provided for in guidance.”

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 states that individuals identified as victims of modern slavery are entitled to a minimum 45-day recovery and reflection period in the UK.

During this time, victims should receive mental health support and counselling, legal advice, secure housing and access to social services.

During the debate on November 2, evidence was also cited from Justice and Care and Care UK. However, following a vote, the amendment was rejected by nine votes to seven.

You can watch the full session here, with the debate around Clause 49 referenced from 9.41am.