Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday (31/07/16) that £33 million will be allocated from the aid budget to specifically tackle modern slavery overseas and that a new UK cabinet taskforce will be created to target the problem within the UK. Modern slavery refers to any person held and forced to work against their will and often involves victims being transported from one country to another.

    Mr Stride, who spoke strongly in support of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act in the House of Commons, said:

    “Modern slavery is a very complex and difficult issue. It exists in so many guises and across international boundaries, from Nigerian women forced into involuntary domestic servitude, to boys from Thailand forced to tend cannabis farms, to eastern European women forced into prostitution. Using part of our aid budget to tackle these crimes is a welcome move.”

    Referring to the problem in this country Mr Stride added:

    “Regrettably human trafficking is also a problem within the UK with thousands of victims held against their will and forced to work. The 2015 Modern Slavery Act has helped prosecute more criminals for these abhorrent acts and has led to a significant rise in the number of victims the police now know about but more needs to be done. A dedicated cabinet taskforce is a clear sign that this will be top priority for the new Government.”

    Mrs May’s announcement coincided with an annual review of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act, which praised the overall impact of the legislation but also made a number of recommendations on how to tackle the problem even more effectively going forward.