Slavery

Home Office written question – answered on 21st September 2022.

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Photo of Lord Coaker Lord Coaker Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Opposition Whip (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of section 68 of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 on the rights of victims of modern slavery.

Photo of Lord Coaker Lord Coaker Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Opposition Whip (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government which articles and sections of Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking they have identified as being incompatible with the Nationality and Borders Act 2022.

Photo of Lord Sharpe of Epsom Lord Sharpe of Epsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Government remains committed to tackling the scourge of modern slavery.

Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combatting trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims (the “EU Trafficking Directive”) was adopted on 5 April 2011.

The Nationality and Borders Act provides legislative clarity to victims and decision makers on victims’ rights, including the entitlement to a recovery period and the circumstances in which confirmed victims may be granted permission to stay.

Section 68 of the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 disapplied the EU Trafficking Directive insofar as it was incompatible with provisions made by that Act.

The provisions in Section 68 aim to ensure that if there is any provision within the EU Directive that operates on the same subject as the Nationality and Borders Act 2022, whether support for victims or otherwise, there is no confusion as to which applies.

The Government believes that that if there is any provision within the Directive that operates on the same subject as the 2022 Act, whether support for victims or otherwise, it is right that people are not confused as to which applies. More broadly, the Government does not believe that any of the Directive’s provisions have been given direct effect by a domestic court and so does not have effect as retained EU law.

This provision does not result in a diminution below the standards laid down in the EU Trafficking Directive, nor does section 68 remove any entitlements from victims. This legal clarification will not have an impact on victim identification, protection and support provided through the National Referral Mechanism.

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