The Modern Slavery Bill will enable us to strengthen our response to human trafficking and modern slavery for both adults and children. We announced in January our intention to trial specialist independent advocates for victims of child trafficking.
23 local authorities that represent a wide demographic range as well as major transport hubs and asylum screening units have agreed to participate in the trial. These areas also have the highest rates of trafficking referrals to the National Referral Mechanism or are areas where we are aware of a high number of trafficking investigations by law enforcement agencies.
We are currently considering bids from a number of voluntary and community services organisations that were identified as potential providers of the advocacy service because of the particular expertise they hold. When the trial goes live we will invite a number of relevant stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, to inform the project through a consultative group.
We have to consider this matter following the passing in the Lords of an amendment to the Immigration Bill that has put on hold our proposals for these trials.