Modern slavery

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 28th June 2019.

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Photo of Steve O'Connell Steve O'Connell Conservative

What progress has been made in tackling modern slavery in London?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Modern slavery and human trafficking are horrendous crimes affecting some of the most vulnerable people in London. These complex crimes will only be solved by working closely with partners, and that is why in my Police and Crime Plan I have made clear my commitment to support partnerships that tackle modern slavery and trafficking in the capital.

I have established the London Modern Slavery Partnership Board, bringing together for the first time partners from all sectors to share intelligence, best practice and pool resources. The Board has informed my Good Work Standard and also enabled charities and partners to help improve the MPS’s intelligence on modern slavery.

We have committed £125,000 to deliver on the launch of a campaign against domestic servitude that the board has launched, and London’s Victims Commissioner has written to the Home Secretary to raise concerns about safe reporting for victims of domestic abuse. I hope her recommendations will further uncover the size of domestic servitude.

We are investing £70 million in services supporting victims of violence against women and girls, and these are likely to reach victims of modern slavery. I am also pleased to be supporting the National Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Network by making a financial contribution of £10,000 to the Modern Slavery Helpline.

Enforcement plays a vital role, Deputy Chairman. The Assembly Member will be aware of the recent landmark case where three gang members were convicted of human trafficking offences after they used young and vulnerable people from south London to transport and sell drugs in Hampshire. I am keen to hear the questions from the Assembly Member so I will cut my answer short.

Photo of Steve O'Connell Steve O'Connell Conservative

Very good. I am tight for time, and no doubt we will return and probably the Police and Crime Committee will return to this subject. This was the subject of a very thorough report by GLA Conservatives, Shadow City, a couple of years ago.

One question I will have, and I will bring this up at a later date, is for the first time we have seen that more men - 52% - were victims of referrals to the National Referral Mechanism in 2017. We welcome the funding for domestic abuse services and we are very passionate about those, but would you consider some sustainable funding for a service for male victims of human trafficking, who often have very little support options available after their initial referral? I would like you to take that away and consider that, Mr Mayor.

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

Chair, this is a really important point. I am happy to go away and look into this. Some of the hotspots have been car washes in London. Can I take this away, Chair, and see what we can do? We have to make sure we realise that this is happening in our city in 2019. Can I look into this and come back to you on that?

Photo of Steve O'Connell Steve O'Connell Conservative

It is a massive issue and I would like to spend more time on it, but I do not have time at the moment.