On 17 October 2019, the Government published the 2019 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery. It provides an overview of modern slavery concerns and issues in the UK and sets out the UK's response to modern slavery over the past 12 months. The response is structured around the "four Ps" framework used in the Modern Slavery Strategy, published in 2014:

  • Pursue: prosecuting and disrupting individuals and groups responsible for modern slavery.
  • Prevent: preventing people from engaging in modern slavery, either as victims or offenders.
  • Protect: strengthening safeguards against modern slavery by protecting vulnerable people from exploitation and increasing awareness of and resilience against modern slavery.
  • Prepare: reducing the harm caused by modern slavery through improved victim identification and enhanced support.

The strategy also commits the Government to develop its international response to modern slavery.

The activity from the past 12 months highlighted in the report includes the following:

  • An uplift in operational activity to tackle modern slavery, with over 1,479 active law enforcement investigations in June 2019.
  • A £10 million investment from the Government to establish a new Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre.
  • The Home Office's commitment to an ambitious programme of work to strengthen the effectiveness of the transparency in supply chain provisions following the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act.
  • Progress in the UK Government's delivery of reforms to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), a system for identifying and supporting victims of modern slavery.

The report notes that the UK will continue its efforts over the next year. This includes working towards implementing the NRM reform programme and embedding an end-to-end needs-based approach to better respond to the needs of victims and provide appropriate support. Other efforts include the UK utilising legislation to tackle modern slavery and the Government continuing to drive the global response against modern slavery by working with multilateral organisations, governments, the public and private sector and local communities.

The full report can be found here.

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