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Britain to Stem Modern Slavery

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Prime Minister Theresa May announced the creation of cabinet task force to tackle modern slavery….reports Asian Lite News

Theresa May - TeresaBritain will establish a cabinet task force to tackle modern slavery, Prime Minister Theresa May wrote in the Sunday Telegraph, calling the problem “the great human rights issue of our time.”

A Home Office report estimated that in 2013 there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the U.K.

“From nail bars and car washes to sheds and rundown caravans, people are enduring experiences that are simply horrifying in their inhumanity,” May said. “Vulnerable people who have traveled long distances, believing they were heading for legitimate jobs, are finding they have been duped, forced into hard labor, and then locked up and abused.”

May pointed to a review of the first year of the Modern Slavery Act, which she introduced as home secretary, that found 289 modern slavery offenses were prosecuted in 2015 (including 27 under the new legislation), and a 40 percent rise in the number of potential victims identified compared to the previous year.

The review found “the Modern Slavery Act has already had a positive impact on the response to slavery, and that it could have a far greater impact if used to its full potential.”

May said the task force would see ministers “get a real grip of this issue right across Whitehall and co-ordinate and drive further progress in the battle against this cruel exploitation.”

Over £33 million from the U.K.’s aid budget will go to funding initiatives in nations from where people are trafficked.

“Modern slavery is international and requires an international response,” May said. “So rather than chasing individual criminals in Britain as they are reported, we need a radically new, comprehensive approach to defeating this vile and systematic international business model at its source and in transit, and we need to flex the muscle of all parts of the UK government and collaborate with international partners.

“This will be an important focus for the new task force because modern slavery will never be stopped if our police, borders and immigration agencies work in domestic silos.

“We played the leading role in getting the eradication of modern slavery into the Sustainable Development Goals, and I want Britain, as a bold country confident in its values, to continue to lead this fight on the global stage.

“As part of this we will be using over £33 million from our aid budget to create a 5-year International Modern Slavery Fund focused on high-risk countries, where we know victims are regularly trafficked to the UK.

“It is hard to comprehend that such sickening and inhuman crimes are lurking in the shadows of our country. But the most recent estimates suggest that there are between 10,000 and 13,000 victims in the UK alone and over 45 million across the world.”