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British government set to publish Modern Slavery Bill

British home secretary Theresa May has revealed plans to publish a Modern Slavery Bill as well as appoint an Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Today’s announcement coincides with anti-slavery day, which aims to raise public understanding of modern slavery and calls to eliminate it.

The bill, which will be published this year in draft form for prelegislative scrutiny, will consolidate into a single act the offences used to prosecute slave drivers. It will also introduce Trafficking Prevention Orders to restrict the activity and movement of convicted traffickers and stop them from committing further offences and a new Anti-Slavery Commissioner to hold law enforcement and other organisations to account.

Action is being taken as numbers of identified trafficking victims across the UK continues to rise. A report published today by the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking shows that 1186 people were identified and referred for support in 2012 - an increase of 25% in the number of referrals from 2011.

The report shows that trafficking remains primarily an organised crime associated with gangs.

The Home Office | UK & NI Ireland | Human rights

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