Amendment 81

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - Committee (4th Day) – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Hamwee Baroness Hamwee Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Immigration) 5:45 pm, 16th September 2020

My Lords, one noble Lord said that the Private Member’s Bill from the noble Lord, Lord McColl, is one whose time has come; I think it came quite some while ago.

During the debate on the first amendment today we talked about humanity, and this is a matter of humanity as well. It is about practice as well as law. Some victims will be desperate to get back home, which is a problem for prosecutors. Others will want to stay. Others will need quite a while to sort out what they want to do, and they will need to assess their status. That is only one situation of many and only one example of how immigration and slavery issues coincide.

I do not want to take up the Committee’s time by repeating what so many noble Lords, who have all spent a great deal of time considering modern slavery and doing their very best to fight it in all sorts of ways, have said. The Minister will tell us whether it is necessary, technically and otherwise. I take the view that the problems of slavery should be a consideration across the whole of the legislative front. The 2015 Act needs to be kept under constant review, because as the weeks go by, we learn more about the abhorrent situation and the plight of individuals caught up in it.